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Use Of Title Tooltips In Link


Web browsers show the value of the link's title attribute as tooltip, when a user moves the mouse over the link without clicking it. You should make use of tooltips whenever you can, because it's good style to tell a user whereto you send him. User friendly Web sites donate a tooltip to every link, and by the way to other HTML elements like headings, row and column labels, footnotes etc. too. Nearly every HTML element you can use in the BODY section knows the title attribute.

Since the tooltip gets displayed for a few seconds only, don't overload it. Preview your pages and check whether a visitor can read the text before it disappears. For better readabilty you can insert line breaks, a new line (LF or CR+LF) in the HTML code works, <br /> doesn't:

...<a href="URI" title="Tooltip Title
Very short and to the point description of the linked document.
Additional information in a longer uninterrupted line of text.">anchor text</a>...

If you pull the tooltip's text from a database, you should strip all HTML tags out, as a precaution. HTML tags accidental left in tooltips look plain weird.

Although there is no evidence we're aware of, search engines may use the content of the title attribute in their ranking algorithms. Hence go ahead and put in decent keywords, but don't stuff the tooltips with keyword phrases. If the tooltip has impact on rankings, most probably its importance is less than surrounding body text.

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