ABBR Tag and SEO – Complete HTML Reference Guide for SEO
I think that the ABBR tag is one of the least used tags, even by the so called SEO experts (oh, how I hate those guys proclaiming themselves experts or gurus). It’s the perfect spot to place your targeted keyword and it’s a completely white hat technique (of course, as long as it’s not abused). And the best part of it is that <abbr> it’s a hidden html element, visible only at mouse over. Place you mouse the word over SEO to see it in action. Therefore, it won’t take real estate space on your page.
Also, keep in mind that using related terms (yeap, that includes abbreviations or synonyms) it helps search engines differentiate similar themes (e.g. differentiate that your company is selling “search engine optimization” and not “engine optimization”, or you’re depicting the Indian Arm – as a river’s Arm in my beautiful British Columbia, Canada and not the arm of an Indian guy).
The <abbr> tag describes an abbreviated phrase. By marking up abbreviations you can give useful information to browsers, spellcheckers, screen readers, translation systems and search-engines. The title attribute is used to show the full version of the expression when you mouse over the abbreviation.
For more information on optional and standard attributes of <abbr> tag please visit the HTML abbr tag page.
What designers should know about the abbr tag in terms of SEO
- this html tag – as well as any other html tags – can and should be altered using CSS (and maybe some jQuery for some nice tooltips) to make it more visually appealing
- when you alter (CSS) this tag make sure it doesn’t look similar with the hyperlinks on your website. In fact make it look totally different so there’s no bad user experience for people click on it and going nowhere
What SEO’s should know about the <abbr> tag
- if you still believe that keyword density should be watched under the magnifying glass and if the content wrote by the copywriter(s) it doesn’t meet your KD requirements, use this trick to play with it (search engine do index and cache the abbr text)
- don’t over use it – I would use the abbreviation tag on the first instance of the abbreviated words on the page, once in the main content and somewhere near the finish line of the main text content
- if you optimize a long copy (e.g. a boring sales letter) you can increase the usage of the abbr tag (stick to maximum 2 times for each 100 words)
What programmers should know about the <abbr> tag
- there’s nothing much to worry about this tag for you as this is content-related SEO
- you could create a rules-based script that parses all the content on the website/database and automatically inserts the acronym tags on the needed words.
What copywriters should know about the abbreviation tag
- as mentioned before, you should use abbreviations to indicate search engines more about the subject matter of a web page
- once your copy is live on the website make sure that you (or your SEO colleague) used the the abbreviation tag on the first instance of each the shortened word
- pay attention to the tone of your content – you may want to target content with more abbreviations towards an educated audience and content with less abbreviations towards a new to the market audience
- don’t write acronyms-only content even if you target highly specialized audience which uses acronyms frequently. For SEO purposes, search engines should be feed with both acronyms and full versions of the targeted keywords
Are you a web designer, a copywriter, programmer or search engine optimizer and have a suggestion about this tag and the SEO usage of it? Please leave a comment or contact me and if the suggestion is good I will update the article. Thanks!
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