Connect with us

SEO

What It Is & How To Use It

Published

on

What It Is & How To Use It

Link attributes abound in the world of SEO, including link title, alternative text, and others.

In fact, there are newer rules you need to use if you wish to remain up-to-date on your link optimization.

These types of attributes are important. Not only do they help clarify the context of your link, but they also help to control how Google perceives it.

Whether it’s a paid link or free, you need to make sure you are using the correct attributes so Google does not misunderstand the meaning of your links, resulting in substandard results.

And SEO is all about results!

The way you get to better results is by applying best practices and ensuring that you don’t run afoul of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Using duplicate alternative text as the link title text is not an okay practice, for example. There are different ways to use alternative text and title text, both of which an SEO pro must pay attention to.

The following includes an overview of the link title attribute and the things you need to know about it in order to be successful.

Let’s dive right in!

Link Title Attribute Best Practices

You should use a link title when you are providing more information about the link.

Don’t use a link title to provide the information over again, as this is a usability fail that will only result in annoying your users.

Have you ever run into an incident where the exact link title showed up when you hovered over it?

You didn’t need to know something that’s already visible on the page, right?

Some of your users may think that way, as well.

The best question you can ask yourself when optimizing is: Will this add information to my link or will it just annoy my users with duplication?

Focus On Optimizing For Users, Rather Than Search Engines

Optimize for your users, rather than search engines.

Yes, this is nothing new. But it is effective.

Don’t:

  • Overstuff the link title attribute with keywords.
  • Duplicate the topic title.

Do:

  • Write the link title so that something unique pops up for users.
  • Write the link title with users in mind.

The link anchor text is supposed to be the name of the link itself.

The link title attribute is supposed to provide more information about where the link will send the user who clicks on that link.

How, Exactly, Should You Be Using The Link Title Attribute?

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has detailed this in a past Google Webmaster Office Hours Hangout. This discussion begins at the 00:42 point.

Google uses both the title attribute and anchor text together within the link in order to increase their understanding of the context of the link.

He explains that you can test this with a word that you made up, and add it as a title attribute.

Then, you can wait a bit for things to be indexed, and then you can examine the results of that after it has been indexed.

Ideally, one could use the title attribute in order to cover information that’s missing in the anchor text. And Google will use these two attributes together when crawling your links.

Does The Link Title Attribute Help Support Accessibility?

There is some disagreement among SEO pros as to whether accessibility should not be included in SEO best practices.

I’m of the opinion that accessibility, while not a direct ranking factor, is one of those indirect ranking factors that are indisputable in terms of their value.

This will help improve your client’s site and their bottom line by reducing accessibility lawsuits for not including basic accessibility items like alternative text.

(Being inclusive also expands your audience and customer base.)

Alternative text, or alt text for short, is an image attribute that gives text to screen readers for the blind.

In principle, you would think the link title attribute works in a similar way.

However, this is not the case.

The W3C states the following:

“Current user agents and assistive technology provide no feedback to the user when links have title attribute content available.

Some graphical user agents will display a tool tip when the mouse hovers above an anchor element containing a title attribute. However, current user agents do not provide access to title attribute content via the keyboard.

The tool tip in some common user agents disappears after a short period of time (approximately five seconds).

This can cause difficulty accessing title attribute content for those users who can use a mouse but have fine motor skill impairment, and may result in difficulties for users who need more time to read the tool tip.

Current graphical user agents do not provide mechanisms to control the presentation of title attribute content.

The user cannot resize the tool tip text or control the foreground and background colors.

The placement and location of the tool tip cannot be controlled by users, causing some screen magnifier users to be unable to access meaningful portions of the title attribute content because the tool tip cannot be fully displayed within the viewport.

Some user agents allow access to supplementary information through the context menu.

For example, the keystroke combination Shift+F10 followed by P will display the title attribute content, along with other supplementary information in Mozilla/Firefox.”

It’s not perfect, so it is almost impossible to provide a good way to implement accessibility in this scenario.

This is why it is important to take a more in-depth look at guidelines for these elements.

They don’t always work the way you think they should and, in some cases, changes to the elements can happen in a flash also.

How to Use The Link Title Attribute: An Example

Here’s an example of how to use the link title attribute correctly:

<a href=”https://www.searchenginejournal.com/” title=”This is a link to the Search Engine Journal website”>SEJ</a>

What Do The Search Engines Say?

We can speculate all day long, but at the end of the day, the final word of the search engines on the link title attribute is this:

“The ‘title’ attribute is a bit different: It ‘offers advisory information about the element for which it is set.’

As the Googlebot does not see the images directly, we generally concentrate on the information provided in the ‘alt’ attribute.

Feel free to supplement the ‘alt’ attribute with ‘title’ and other attributes if they provide value to your users!”

This is what Bing has to say:

“Think of the anchor text as your primary description of the linked page.

But if you do inline linking within the paragraphs of your body text, you need to maintain the natural, logical flow of the language in the paragraph, which can limit your link text description.

As such, you can use the title attribute to add additional keyword information about the linked page without adversely affecting the readability of the text for the end user.”

What Do Other SEO Professionals Say?

Based on the opinions of several people who have done SEO for years, the link title attribute carries no weight on search engines.

There is also some usability concern when it comes to the link title attribute.

For most browsers, it will show up when you move your cursor over the link.

Because of this, you don’t have to copy the anchor text within a title attribute. If the title attribute is unable to provide additional information, you should not use it.

“Do not add link titles to all links: If it is obvious from the link anchor and its surrounding context where the link will lead, then a link title will reduce usability by being one more thing users have to look at.”

The Rise In Accessibility Lawsuits: Should You Be Concerned?

On January 4, 2019, it was reported that Beyonce.com was sued over accessibility issues.

Target has also been sued over accessibility issues in the past.

Accessibility should always be a concern for SEO professionals because you are supposed to be driving revenue and increasing ROI for your clients.

When an accessibility lawsuit happens, your client loses money, or ROI, from the lack of these efforts. In addition, they are usually not happy about your website.

Your efforts as an SEO should include making sure that link title attributes and links are visible and usable by your users, regardless of their abilities.

Focus On Your Users, Not The Search Engines

When writing link title attributes, be sure to write for users, and don’t create spammy text just for the search engines.

Because, it will be users who are – primarily – going to be using this title text.

At the end of the day, accessibility matters:

  • Don’t make links hard to read.
  • Don’t make link titles difficult to use, or understand.

Make things look great while focusing on the user experience in order to make sure that your users are happy and elated to be on your website.

TL;DR: Key Takeaways

The key takeaways include the following:

  • Don’t use duplicate alt and title attributes in your links.
  • Do focus on your users when writing these, but also focus on what the search engines will crawl.
  • Do focus on what missing information will be added by using the title attribute.
  • Do optimize your links if the title attribute adds new information.
  • Do not use the title attribute if it does not add new information.
  • Make sure that you use these attributes in such a way that fosters great accessibility for users with disabilities.
  • Don’t over-optimize. Avoid adding title attributes to links that don’t need them.

If you are in doubt about whether a link title attribute is something that is going to benefit you, it’s probably best not to use it. And instead, consult John Mueller or another SEO professional that you trust.

John is known to hang out on Twitter and answer burning questions from SEO professionals around the world, in addition to his office hours hangouts.

More Resources:


Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock




Source link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SEO

Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

Published

on

Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

Microsoft announced today that it is bringing cutting-edge AI capabilities to its Bing search engine, with the addition of a new ChatGPT-like feature.

Microsoft revealed its plans for integrating ChatGPT at a private event held at its Redmond headquarters today, which centered around its partnership with OpenAI.

Unlike recent virtual events, this particular press conference was held in person and not broadcast online.

During the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the significance of this new feature and how it will revolutionize the way people interact with search engines.

“I think this technology is going to reshape pretty much every software category,” says Nadella.

Nadella proclaimed, “The race starts today,” and Microsoft is going to “move and move fast.”

The event attendees were given a sneak peek at the latest search experience, which Microsoft refers to as “your AI-powered copilot for the web.”

This new experience combines the all-new Bing search engine and Edge web browser, which are designed to complement each other.

Nadella explained that the new Bing would provide direct answers to questions and encourage users to be more creative.

He also stated that the current search experience is not working as efficiently as it should be, as 40% of the time, people click on search links and then immediately click back.

This clearly indicates that the search experience needs to be updated and improved. Nadella claims that the search engine user experience hasn’t changed in 20 years, and it’s time for Microsoft to adapt.

Introducing The New Bing

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which has been specifically customized for search purposes. It’s even more powerful than the ChatGPT model.

Microsoft has implemented a new way of working with OpenAI called the “prometheus model,” which enhances the relevancy of answers, annotates them, keeps them up to date, and more.

The search index has also been improved by applying the AI model to the core search algorithm, which Nadella calls the largest jump in relevance ever.

It runs on a new user experience with an expanded search box that accepts up to 1,000 characters. Examples shared during the event look exactly like recent leaks.

The new Bing includes a chatbot that behaves similarly to ChatGPT, allowing users to interact with Bing in a natural language.

Bing’s new ChatGPT-like feature will take it a step further by allowing users to have an actual conversation with the search engine, with the ability to follow up on previous questions and provide more context for their search.

The new Bing is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and anyone can try it out by visiting Bing.com and performing sample searches.

You can also sign up to be notified when it becomes more widely available.

The preview will be expanded to millions of users in the near future, and a mobile version will be available soon.

The New Edge Browser

The chat interface Microsoft demonstrated in Bing is available as a sidebar feature in Edge, allowing users to access it without navigating to the Bing website. The interface can run alongside any webpage and interact with it.

During a demonstration, the AI assistant in Edge could summarize a 15-page PDF with one click and even translate a code snippet from Stack Overflow into another programming language.

Another benefit of the Edge browser’s “AI co-pilot” is having it complete tasks for you, such as filling out forms and writing emails.

In Summary

Microsoft has made a substantial leap in search engine technology by integrating a ChatGPT-like feature in its Bing search engine.

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5.

Bing with the AI co-pilot is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and a mobile version will be available soon.

Additionally, the chat interface will be available as a sidebar feature in the new Edge browser, which has the ability to summarize information, translate code, and even complete tasks.


Source: Microsoft

Featured Image: Poetra.RH/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Published

on

From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Conductor, a leading enterprise organic marketing platform, has acquired European-based competitor, Searchmetrics, to accelerate its expansion in the European market.

After acquiring ContentKing in 2022, the acquisition of Searchmetrics continues to strengthen Conductor’s position in the industry.

Seth Besmertnik, Conductor’s CEO and co-founder, said that the acquisition would bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and its shared customers:

“Searchmetrics has been a competitor almost since we started Conductor, with a strong data foundation and a powerful presence in the European market. We are excited to bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and to our now shared customers. Our goal is for customers to greatly benefit from this acquisition through delivery of more product value on a global scale.”

 

Matt Colebourne, the CEO of Searchmetrics, expressed his excitement for the company to join Conductor, calling it the “definitive global leader”:

“Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader. For years, we’ve admired their commitment to innovation for customers and their efforts to foster a dynamic and rewarding workplace culture for employees. By joining Conductor, we bring the best of what we do along with a large European customer base—solidifying Conductor as the definitive global leader. We cannot wait to build more for customers going forward.”

 

Ken Ogenbratt, Searchmetrics’s Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is a “pivotal step” for the SEO industry as the two companies move forward as partners with the opportunity to drive even greater value to customers.

With this acquisition, Conductor continues its commitment to creating a single, global platform that integrates all parts of the SEO workflow.

With Searchmetrics’ strong European presence and solid customer base, the acquisition will significantly accelerate Conductor’s growth in Europe.

Conductor has completed its second acquisition in a year with the purchase of Searchmetrics, which follows the company’s significant funding round from Bregal Sagemount in 2021.

This acquisition is seen as a sign of Conductor’s recent growth. It is expected to solidify its position as a leading player in the SEO space by incorporating the strengths of both companies for their shared customers.


Featured Image: dotshock/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

Published

on

How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

In 2015, Brian Dean revealed a brand-new link building strategy. He called it the Skyscraper Technique.

With over 10,000 backlinks since the post was published, it’s fair to say that the Skyscraper Technique took the world by storm in 2015. But what is it exactly, how can you implement it, and can you still get results with this technique in 2023?

Let’s get started.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique is a link building strategy where you improve existing popular content and replicate the backlinks. 

Brian named it so because in his words, “It’s human nature to be attracted to the best. And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest ‘skyscraper’ in your space… and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.”

Here’s how the technique works:

Three steps of the Skyscraper Technique

How to implement the Skyscraper Technique

Follow these three steps to execute the Skyscraper Technique.

1. Find relevant content with lots of backlinks

There are three methods to find relevant pages with plenty of links:

Use Site Explorer

Enter a popular site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Next, go to the Best by backlinks report.

Best pages by backlinks report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows you a list of pages from the site with the highest number of referring domains. If there are content pieces with more than 50 referring domains, they’re likely to be good potential targets.

Sidenote.

Ignore homepages and other irrelevant content when eyeballing this report.

Use Content Explorer

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is a searchable database of 10 billion pages. You can use it to find mentions of any word or phrase.

Let’s start by entering a broad topic related to your niche into Content Explorer. Next, set a Referring domains filter to a minimum of 50. 

We can also add:

  • Language filter to get only pages in our target language.
  • Exclude homepages to remove homepages from the results.
Ahrefs' Content Explorer search for "gardening," with filters

Eyeball the results to see if there are any potential pieces of content you could beat.

Use Keywords Explorer

Enter a broad keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the Matching terms report and set a Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to a minimum of 40.

Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Why filter for KD? 

The reason is due to the method we use at Ahrefs to calculate KD. Our KD score is calculated from a trimmed mean of referring domains (RDs) to the top 10 ranking pages. 

In other words, the top-ranking pages for keywords with high KD scores have lots of backlinks on average.

From here, you’ll want to go through the report to find potential topics you could build a better piece of content around. 

2. Make it better

The core idea (or assumption) behind the Skyscraper Technique is that people want to see the best. 

Once you’ve found the content you want to beat, the next step is to make something even better

According to Brian, there are four aspects worth improving:

  1. Length – If the post has 25 tips, list more.
  2. Freshness – Update any outdated parts of the original article with new images, screenshots, information, stats, etc.
  3. Design – Make it stand out with a custom design. You could even make it interactive.
  4. Depth – Don’t just list things. Fill in the details and make them actionable.

3. Reach out to the right people

The key to successfully executing the Skyscraper Technique is email outreach. But instead of spamming everyone you know, you reach out to those who have already linked to the specific content you have improved. 

The assumption: Since they’ve already linked to a similar article, they’re more likely to link to one that’s better.

You can find these people by pasting the URL of the original piece into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then going to the Backlinks report.

Backlinks report for ResumeGenius' how to write a resume, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows all the backlinks to the page. In this case, there are 441 groups of links.

But not all of these links will make good prospects. So you’ll likely need to add some filters to clean them up. For example, you can:

  • Add a Language filter for the language you’re targeting (e.g., English).
  • Switch the tab to Dofollow for equity-passing links.
Backlinks report, with filters, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Does the Skyscraper Technique still work?

It’s been roughly eight years since Brian shared this link building strategy. Honestly speaking, the technique has been oversaturated. Given its widespread use, its effectiveness may even be limited. 

Some SEOs even say they wouldn’t recommend it.

So we asked our Twitter and LinkedIn following this question and received 1,242 votes. Here are the results:

Pie chart showing 61% of respondents feel the Skyscraper Technique still works

Clearly, many SEOs and marketers still believe the technique works.

Sidenote.

According to Aira’s annual State of Link Building report, only 18% of SEOs still use the Skyscraper Technique. It’s not a go-to for many SEOs, as it ranks #20 among the list of tactics. I suspect its popularity has waned because (1) it’s old and SEOs are looking for newer stuff and (2) SEOs believe that content is more important than links these days.

Why the Skyscraper Technique fails and how to improve your chances of success

Fundamentally, it makes sense that the Skyscraper Technique still works. After all, the principles are the same behind (almost) any link building strategy:

  1. Create great content
  2. Reach out to people and promote it

But why do people think it’s no longer effective? There are a few reasons why and knowing them will help you improve your chances of success with the Skyscraper Technique.

Let’s start with:

1. Sending only Brian’s email template

In Brian’s original post, he suggested an email template for his readers to use:

Hey, I found your post: http://post1

<generic compliment>

It links to this post: http://post2

I made something better: http://post3

Please swap out the link for mine.

Unfortunately, many SEOs decided to use this exact template word for word. 

Link building doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If everyone in your niche decides to send this exact template to every possible website, it’ll burn out real fast. And that’s exactly what happened.

Now, if a website owner sees this template, chances are they’ll delete it right away. 

Sidenote.

Judging by my inbox, there are still people using this exact template. And, like everyone else, I delete the email immediately.

I’m not saying this to disparage templated emails. If you’re sending something at scale, templating is necessary. But move away from this template. Write your own, personalize it as much as possible, and follow the outreach principles here.

Even better, ask yourself:

What makes my content unique and link-worthy?”

2. Not segmenting your prospects

People link for different reasons, so you shouldn’t send everyone the same pitch. 

Consider dividing your list of prospects into segments according to the context in which they linked. You can do this by checking the Anchors report in Site Explorer.

Anchors report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can clearly see people are linking to different statistics from our SEO statistics post. So, for example, if we were doing outreach for a hypothetical post, we might want to mention to the first group that we have a new statistic for “Over 90% of content gets no traffic from Google.”

Then, to the second group, we’ll mention that we have new statistics for “68% of online experiences.” And so on. 

In fact, that’s exactly what we did when we built links to this post. Check out the case study here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

3. Not reaching out to enough people

Ultimately, link building is still a numbers game. If you don’t reach out to enough people, you won’t get enough links. 

Simply put: You need to curate a larger list of link prospects.

So rather than limiting yourself to only replicating the backlinks of the original content, you should replicate the backlinks from other top-ranking pages covering the same topic too.

To find these pages, enter the target keyword into Keywords Explorer and scroll down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "how to write a resume," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In this example, most top-ranking pages have tons of links, and all of them (after filtering, of course) could be potential link prospects.

Pro tip

Looking for even more prospects? Use Content Explorer.

Search for your keyword, set a Referring domains filter, and you’ll see relevant pages where you can “mine” for more skyscraper prospects.

Referring domains filters selected in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Thinking bigger equals better

Someone creates a list with 15 tools. The next person ups it to 30. Another “skyscrapers” it to 50, and the next increases it to 100.

Not only is it a never-ending arms race, there’s also no value for the reader. 

No one wants to skim through 5,000 words or hundreds of items just to find what they need. Curation is where the value is.

When considering the four aspects mentioned by Brian, don’t improve things for the sake of improving them. Adding 25 mediocre tips to an existing list of 25 doesn’t make it “better.” Likewise for changing the publish date or adding a few low-quality illustrations. 

Example: My colleague, Chris Haines, recently published a post on the best niche site ideas. Even though he only included 10, he has already outperformed the other “skyscraper” articles:

Our blog post ranking #3 for the query, "niche site ideas," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

He differentiated himself through his knowledge and expertise. After all, Chris has 10 years of experience in SEO. 

So when you’re creating your article, always look at any improvement through the lens of value:

Are you giving more value to the reader? 

5. Not considering brand

As Ross Hudgens says, “Better does not occur in a branding vacuum.”

Most of the time, content isn’t judged solely on its quality. It’s also judged by who it comes from. We discovered this ourselves too when we tried to build links to our keyword research guide.

Most of the time, people didn’t read the article. They linked to us because of our brand and reputation—they knew we were publishing great content consistently, and they had confidence that the article we were pitching was great too.

In other words, there are times where no matter how hard you “skyscraper” your content, people just won’t link to it because they don’t know who you are. 

Having your own personal brand is important these days. But think about it: What is a “strong brand” if not a consistent output of high-quality work that people enjoy? One lone skyscraper doesn’t make a city; many of them together do.

What I’m saying is this: Don’t be discouraged if your “skyscraper” article gets no results. And don’t be discouraged just because you don’t have a brand right now—you can work on that over time.

Keep on making great content—skyscraper or not—and results will come if you trust the process.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” 

Final thoughts

The Skyscraper Technique is a legitimate link building tactic that works. But that can only happen if you:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish