Google's Algorithms Find Stuffed Title Attributes As Sneaky

May 15, 2012 - 9:15 am 13 by

title attributeI spotted a thread at Google Webmaster Help where a site owner was upset his page was not ranking well.

Googler, John Mueller took a look and noticed an unusually high amount of title attributes used on the page, many with tons and tons of keywords and words in the title attribute. John said that the way he is using the title attribute can be seen as "sneaky" to Google's algorithms.

John wrote:

It looks like a lot of the content on that page (and others within your site) is "hidden" behind title-attributes. To our algorithms, that might look a bit sneaky -- and in practice, it doesn't make that much sense, so I'd recommend going through your pages and making sure that you're using title-attributes as they would normally be used.

Would you disagree?

Here is one of many examples of the use of the title attribute on this page:

<a class='rsswidget' href='' title='Yesterday we mentioned that the specifications and a couple pictures had leaked of the HTC Desire C entry-level smartphone. One of those leaked photographs was an official press shot that came from an errant early publication in a catalog. I’m not sure if the launch was always planned for today, or if HTC figured it … […]' rel='nofollow'>

Years ago, on the old RustyBrick web site, I used the title attribute as a way to provide definitions on mouse over of highly technical terms. It actually worked well for users and for Google definitions back in the day.

I removed that feature with the redesign because by now, most our users know what these terms mean.

In any event, this is Google going on the record about something obvious - do not spam the title attribute. Well, do not spam anything.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.


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