the latest from 2am Media

8 Feb

What is an HTML Link?


Links are one of the fundamental aspects of web marketing, if you’ve got a website, want to promote your website, or just make sure you want your visitors to have the best user experience you are going to have to become a Link Master.

What does a Link do?

They really do what they say on the tin, they link one piece of content to another piece and make it easy for the visitor to get from one place to another, this may be on your website (an internal link) or from or to another site (external site).

They help your visitor navigate their way around your website, they also allow search engines to navigate their way around your site passing on link juice accoringly.

What does a link look like?

Links come in a variety of guises depending on where they are located on a website. From a users perspective they may be an image, or a highlighted section of text. The code always looks similar:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” title=”Web Design Preston”>Web Design Preston</a>

On site this will appear as:

Web Design Preston

An image with a link will look somthing like this:

<a href=””><img title=”Web Design Preston” src=”×68.png” alt=”Web Design Preston” /></a>

on site the link will look like this:

Web Design Preston

What are the different link attributes?

The above link examples follow very similar methods – all the attributes are written as attribute=”attributeXX”.


The attribute href stands for hypertext reference and the URL placed in the quotation marks is the destination of the link – from a User Experience point of view this is where you are sending the user.


From an SEO point of view there are various ways in which to manipulate which links the search engine crawlers follow the attribute rel=”nofollow” for example tells the search engines no to follow the link (thereby not passing on juice potency).

This attribute used to be one of the standard ways in which Search Engine Optimisers controlled the flow of link potency such as PageRank around a website, thus making specifically targeted pages much stronger. Due to the overuse of this feature Google changed the way its algorithm acknowledged this feature, which means it is now less useful to us SEOs.


This feature was most useful when most websites were built in frames.. I tend to use this feature when linking away from a website as it opens a new tab for the user and therefore doesn’t close the website they were previously browsing, from a usability point of view it’s arguable whether or not it would be best to let the user decide if they want your website to remain open or not.


The title attribute is mainly beneficial for user experience as it gives the user more information about what to expect when they click on the link, as far as I can tell it’s not something that the search engines take any notice of, however I think it’s worthwhile to have it in there.

anchor text

Choosing the right words for your anchor text is important for the user experience as it gives them an indication of what the next section will be about, however it’s absolutely critical for SEO purposes. The term that you select (in the example above “Web Design Preston“) is the term that you are passing on the relevancy and strength of the link to the destination page.

If you are linking from an image you don’t have to miss out on the opportunity of passing on keyword strength you have to use the alt=” “ attribute – this tag in my experience is more powerful than anchor text targeting.

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