Remove the hyperlink from single post titles

By Daniel Scocco

Most blog templates present hyperlinks on the titles of single post pages. There is no reason to have an hyperlink on those titles, however, since they are pointing exactly to the current page. Secondly, the hyperlink might also cause some crawling problems for search engines, messing with the indexation of those pages.

WordPress users can remove this hyperlink by going into the Theme Editor and looking for the single.php file. Inside that file look for the line that specifies the title on the single post pages, it should be something like this:

<h2><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

Once you find the line you will need to remove the parts that make the title an active link, which include the <a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"> and </a> tags. The final line should look like this:

<h2><?php the_title(); ?></h2>

If you still want to include an hyperlink to make it easier for people to copy the permalink you can place an icon near to the title, or a meta data below the post with the permalink information.



Related Articles

Please install the YARPP plugin

Share

25 Responses to “Remove the hyperlink from single post titles”

  • Bang Kritikus

    How for blogspot ??

  • hikaye

    Thanks you very much

  • JimmyBoy

    Hey Daniel, it would be nice for your credibility if you followed your own advice, but you don’t — the permalink is still in the title of your single post page.

    Nice going!

  • Lorelle

    Just to be clear with the explanation in my own comment, if you use the Firefox Extension I mentioned, it grabs the TEXT of the link and the LINK and puts it into an instantly paste-able text link as:

    <a href="LINK" title="POST TITLE">Post Title</a>

    If you put it in a permalink or icon, you then add WORK to the process of copying the pasting the link:

    <a href="LINK" title="permalink">permalink</a>

    I then would have to go in and change “permalink” to the title of the post twice. It means switching back and forth between my post and the original to make sure I spell all those funny words right in the 10 word title. 😉 Not helpful at all.

    There is no known loss from SEO or otherwise by leaving the link in the title. It just helps those of us who blog about bloggers and blog posts get those dang links pasted into our articles faster.

    Think of this as a good marketing tool. 😉

  • Everton

    Just becuase everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s optimal. And everyone doesn’t do it – Blogware don’t for the same reasons.

    Daniel – any chance of some quicktags please?

  • Ajay

    I don’t get the purpose behind removing the link from the title. It’s been followed on blogs and I guess everyone is used to it. That is also the first place I look to find the title on any blog.

    WRT SEO, I haven’t noticed any problems with Google indexing my site, or any other engine… is them some documents that suggest not linking the title to the permalink?

    For good accessibility the link should have text that describes it.

  • Ashish Mohta

    Looks like I am little late for this.But Lets see…

    SEO logic wil only create problem if you have a lot of links on your site and that means “OUTGOING” Links.

    Sometimes when you land up on the site, u would like to click to open up the whole post.If its not there it can be little annoying.Well you can say comment link is there but its too small to get noticed.

    Rest of the things agreed!

  • Daniel

    Bez, I am speechless, thanks for the essay 🙂

    And yes I agree with your reasoning, there will always need to be a balance between what is good for machines and what is good for humans, even if the latter one might become more important as we move forward.

  • Bes Z

    It makes sense Everton, and thanks for sharing that link. I have a question though: However, do all the search engines follow the same crawling trend? Or is it only Google? Do we can confirmed source/evidence that Google crawlers in addition to the News crawler do this? If all search engines follow this technique or if there is a way to find out more, it would be really beneficial.

    Yes, SEO is good, but changing things around the site only for Google may not be optimal. A webmaster should never have to change things solely for Google. One is writing for the web, not Google. I also think that having too many links pointing to the same page confuses people, as links are supposed to point to another page and not the same page. However, I am sure there are good uses for pointing to the same page, like having the main logo or the “Blog” link pointing to its own main page.

    Lorelle above also recommended having extra links and gave a good logic for such an action. Thanks Lorelle!

    Maybe we are just evolving and starting to change the very definition of how links are supposed to work and be treated.

    I am not an expert on this, so please correct me if I am wrong: Changing permalinks can have a lot to do with accessibility. A visually impaired person may find a big link with the same name as the current page and pointing to the same page confusing, as their voice recognition/speaking/browsing software will tell them that there is a hyperlink there, and they will click it assuming it will take them somewhere else, as normally one does not expect a link present that points to the same page more than once unless it is the homepage link or the logo. That visually impaired person is used to copying the url address box or typing it themselves, which is what they consider an accessibility standard, so introducing all these extra links will only confuse them more as I am not aware of any voice/browsing software for visually impaired that lets a person know that a link is pointing to itself other than reading out the entire link again, adding more unnecessary reading time for a visually impaired person. Going to http://www.dailyblogtips.com and hearing about a link that points to the same page is fine, as one can realize that it is a link pointing to the same page like the main logo or the “Home/Main” link, but going to [example only]

    dailyblogtips.com/blog/tips/2007/2/28/whatiamsayingiswaybeyondme/

    is not something that many, including me or any visually impaired people, will realize that “Oh, this is the same page I am already on!” I will myself not realize that the link is pointing to itself unless I look at the status bar and compare the url of the link I am hovering on with the current address bar while wondering at the same time “Hmmm, the link text sounds familiar, but why is an extra link here?.” As of this moment, software for visually impaired people makes it hard to access and compare the two urls quickly, like the url in the status bar with the url in the url address box, so I think it is not nice to add extra urls in places only because Google or some other SEO technique requires it at the expense of users who want better accessibility and without wasting time.

    Even my website lists urls in more than one place, and I am going through all my logs and coding to see how and where I can remove extra links and text to make sure everyone has easy access to stuff instead of following trends that do benefit some bloggers at this moment but only at the expense of many users browsing comfort. Like Daniel said above, many sites don’t use such duplicate links at this moment, like CopyBlogger, and they are doing just fine. Content is more important than anything; only thing that can be said to be more important than content is selling yourself [marketing], but that’s a completely different scope and topic, something that Daniel tries to help with in his daily posts.

    Yes, having cleaner urls can help, but not every site on the internet is a blog and a vast number of the sites on the internet still use variables and dynamic urls to serve their pages, making it hard for anyone to recognize what the current url is. People visit sites to read/hear content, not to spend time wondering what the current url is. It is even harder for visually impaired people to focus on urls as right now it takes a lot of time to go into such extra details through the current software we have available.

    Short summary of what I think in case the above long comment confused you [my apologies]: accessibility can have huge issues when it comes to treating and placing url links in a page, and it seems having more than one link pointing to the same page, when not thinking of accessibility, seems to depend solely how SEO works for that specific website.

  • Everton

    The problem isn’t with getting indexed, it’s about getting indexed properly. e.g a search engine may follow a backlink or the robot may visit your site directly. But, if once it gets there it can’t add all of your pages and your content to its index because it can’t navigate around your site, or work out what each section actually is, then not all of your details will make it into the index to be potentially matched against search keywords.

    I hope I’m being clearer this time!

  • Daniel

    Everton, I get it now.

    But even if we talk about indexation and not ranking, do you think that the Homepage of a blog with a lot of backlinks would risk not getting indexed by search engines due to titles with hyperlinks? I think this is a very remote possibility.

    In my opinion the indexation problem might be an issue for single post pages (i.e. supplemental hell) but not for the homepage, hence why I would consider removing the hyperlink only on those pages.

  • Everton

    First because rarely your homepage will get listed on high rankings for keywords (usually one has 5 posts with different topics in homepage).

    Secondly because on the homepage the hyperlink is not pointing to the same page, therefore it does have an accessibility function.

    You’ve totally misunderstood my post. Making the changes to your permalinks has nothing to do with getting your homepage listed on search engines, or do to with accessibilty.

    It is totally about Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines can struggle to index your site properly if you put your permalinks in your titles. If you do this you run the risk of your site not being indexed fully and fewer of your pages appearing in search engine results.

  • Daniel

    Everton, I had read your post about the permalinks. We both agree that hyperlinks on titles are not optimal from a SEO point of view, but I do not think that removing them from the homepage is a good idea, I would only remove from the single post pages.

    First because rarely your homepage will get listed on high rankings for keywords (usually one has 5 posts with different topics in homepage).

    Secondly because on the homepage the hyperlink is not pointing to the same page, therefore it does have an accessibility function.

  • Everton

    Hi

    You all really need to read this post to see how to add permalinks properly so that you get crawled properly by search engines. For instance you shouldn’t put your permalink in your titles on your index pages……

    http://www.connectedinternet.co.uk/2007/02/07/blogging-tips-how-to-use-permalinks-the-right-way-for-seo/

    And removing permalinks altogether is a very bad idea!

  • Daniel

    Lorelle, you do have a point. However I think that you could solve the problem by placing an icon with the permalink close to the title or below the post.

    Also, there are some very high profile blogs out there already removing those hyperlinks on post titles. Examples include Seobook.com, Seomoz.org, Seth Godin’s blog, Pronet Advetising, among others.

  • Brian

    I use them to direct people to my website when I want to highlight one of my paintings or collections. Leaving them to direct back to each post (as a “permalink”) might be a negative for the Search Engines. But I generally don’t use them that way anyway. I’ve been able to achieve a high listing on Google for my Belted Galloway paintings as a result. This has been my experience anyway.

  • Daniel

    Regarding the SEO I am quite positive it might affect the crawling for some search engines (no huge impact, obviously but every small bit helps), Everton from ConnectedInternet.co.uk received an email from Google News some time ago alleging that they would be able to index better his pages if they had no active link on the headlines of posts.

    For the usability issue I guess you can workaround placing an icon near to the title or placing a “Permalink” link after the post together with the other meta.

    But as Darren said it is a matter of preference, if you think most of your readers would “miss” the hyperlinks on titles you should leave it there.

  • Lorelle

    Please, do not recommend this. If you want your blog post featured on other blogs, keep the link in your single post titles.

    There are several tools, including the Copy Link Text (CoLT) Firefox Extension, which allows bloggers to quickly copy the title and link of a blog post and paste it into an article they are writing recommending the post.

    I first thought it was redundant, but I found many ways that having the title in a link was helpful. This is just one that happens to be THE MOST important way to make it easier to get your blog written about.

    Otherwise, the blogger has to copy the URL and then put it in a link, switching back and forth between pages to get the post title right, IF they even care about get the post title right. They probably don’t and will put it in a here link, which is so unhelpful.

    Help those who want to write about your blog by leaving the title in the link so they can copy the link with the title to quickly feature your post.

    It wasn’t put in a link by accident, you know. 😉

  • Thilak

    Like Darren said, I find a it a bit annoying. Imagine what to submit this post to Digg, I simple go upto the title and copy the permalink and then submit it to digg. Moving upto the address bar is a bit frustrating.

    How about adding a nofollow tag to the title?

  • Bes Z

    3 places Andrew. All web browsers show the current url in the browser address bar. The other 2 automatically become extra and unnecessary for most people, since wordpress putting title urls inside titles is only a new trend that majority of the web users are not aware of, and may get confused since they wonder why there is a link that is pointing to itself.

  • Andrew Flusche

    I’ve got to agree with Darren on this one. I virtually expect post titles to be linked. I get really frustrated when they aren’t. It’s not too bad when the permalink is nearby the title, but it’s nutty when the permalink only appears in the post footer. Why look in two separate places for this info?!

  • Darren

    I actually like having mine hyperlinked and find blogs that don’t do it a little frustrating. Maybe its the rhythm of blogging that I’m used to but if I want to grab a post’s link I always get it from the title of the post with a quick copy and paste. I also don’t know that it’d hinder SEO – in fact it could help it as having a link with keywords in the anchor can help SEO.

    Its probably more personal preference for me.

  • Bes Z

    Nice one Daniel. 🙂

    Once can put a permanent link somewhere else in the article if they want, like in the post meta data, to make it easier for people to copy paste the url if they are used to seeing permalinks inside posts.

    I see a lot of bloggers keeping the links in their single post titles, by the way, though the general usability trend is to not have links on pages that point to their own self.

Comments are closed.