Attribute is a term that is used in various fields of IT. Generally, an attribute is used to describe a file or a data field in more detail. In object-oriented programming, attributes are a property or characteristic that can be assigned to an object (element). Using attribute specific values can be assigned to certain elements.
The three most common areas where attributes are used in the IT field are:
Attributes are commonly used in HTML tags and have different characteristics. However, only certain attributes are allowed as part of the W3C standards.
Within an element (here an h2 tag) an attribute is set directly at the beginning followed by an equal sign. The attribute value is then defined in the quotation marks.
<H2 id="my id">...</h2>
There are some common attributes that can be used for all HTML elements:
It is possible to accommodate multiple attributes in one tag. The individual attributes are separated by spaces.
<h2 class="textwhite backgroundpurple"id="heading2">...</h2>
Attributes such as the class attribute and id attribute are frequently applied visual design HTML elements using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
It should be noted that the formatting of websites should always be done through style sheets. The reason for this is that the W3C considers attributes that only serve formatting purposes “deprecated.” Good HTML style separates content from layout.
Most HTML attributes are optional. If you integrate an image into a website with an img tag, in addition to specifying its source with an src tag, an ALT attribute should also be assigned to display an alternative text if the image cannot be displayed.
An example of optional but very useful attributes are title attributes. If an Internet user briefly hovers with the cursor over a link, he will get a brief description of the link target through this attribute. This would make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate. Such a title attribute could be implemented as follows.
<p>...at the <a href="http://chocolate-expert.tld/path/to/preparation/" title="The chocolate experts – 100 possible ways to prepare chocolate">Preparation</a>of chocolate...</ p>
Attributes are definitely relevant to online store operators as well. Users can compare and find various products through Google Shopping. Correct HTML markup is enormously important if an online store offers its products via the Google Base Product Feed (product search). Google describes all possible attributes, which are important for the Product Feed Specification in its Google Merchant Center.
As a rule, Google considers the correct use of attributes an indication of the quality of a website. Title and alt attributes can be beneficial for on-page SEO. The alt attribute, for example, has a great influence on image SEO because this attribute provides a reference concerning the image content, which the crawler might otherwise only get through the embedded content. Title attributes have long been considered an important optimization factor for linking. Keywords were not only used in anchor text, but also in the title as part of link building. Today, SEOs should be careful when using anchor text and titles for external links to avoid keyword stuffing. For internal linking, however, title attributes can be of some benefit, by giving users and the Googlebot an indication of what to expect on the target page.