December 12, 2023
What are fragment links (jump links)?
Fragment links, also known as jump links, are specific sections within a webpage that can be accessed directly by appending a fragment identifier (#) and the relevant section’s ID to the URL.
These jump links allow users to navigate directly to a particular section of a webpage instead of scrolling through the entire page.
Typically, a hovering table of contents uses a “#” within the URL structure to scroll the user down the page to get to a specific heading. Here’s an example from our website:
How do fragment links appear in Google Search Console?
In Google Search Console (GSC), fragment links may appear as separate URL entries in the Performance report. These entries are typically marked with a “jump link” icon and represent specific sections of the page that Google has identified as being useful for users.
☝️ Looking to expand your knowledge of Google Search Console? Read our GSC setup and use cases guide.
Are fragment links bad for SEO?
No, fragment links are not bad for search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, they can be beneficial as they provide users with a more convenient way to jump to specific content within a long page and may contribute to a higher click-through rate (CTR). Here’s what Google has to say about it:
“Fragments are supposed to be used to address a piece of content within the page and when used for this purpose, fragments are absolutely fine.”
Consider this example showing a search engine result page (SERP) feature triggered by jump links:
To ensure optimal web search performance, however, you need to consider the following aspects:
- Content relevance: Fragment links should be used in a way that aligns with the page’s overall content structure. The linked sections should provide valuable information and be relevant and meaningful to the users. After all, in the SEO world, high-quality content writing is key to unlocking results.
- User experience: Fragment links should enhance the user experience by allowing users to jump directly to relevant information. This convenience can improve engagement and decrease bounce rates, which are positive signals for SEO.
- Accessibility: Ensure that fragment links are accessible to both users and search engines. Check that they are crawlable by search engine bots and that they are properly displayed across different devices and browsers.
- Anchor text: Use descriptive and concise anchor text for fragment links. Creating anchor links helps users and search engines understand the context of the section.
- Mobile friendliness: Fragment links should be mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices. In other words, make sure that the linked sections are easily accessible and usable on smaller screens, too.
How can I optimize fragment links for better SEO?
To optimize fragment links for SEO, consider the following best practices:
- Resonating content: To help search engines understand the page’s content and improve its visibility in search results, your linked section should resonate with search intent. Ideally, your heading structure should include related keywords to the H1 (main topic title). If you need help crafting optimized content, check out our SEO writing checklist.
- Structured data: Implement structured data, such as Schema.org markup, to provide additional context to search engines. This SEO best practice can enhance the visibility of fragment links in search results, such as featured snippets.
- Internal linking: Use internal links within your website to connect related content and create a logical structure. This can help search engines discover and index the linked sections more effectively.
- Page speed: Optimize the loading speed of your web pages to provide a smooth user experience. Faster loading times improve user satisfaction and can positively impact SEO.
- Monitoring and analysis: Regularly monitor your fragment links’ performance through Google Search Console. Analyze metrics like click-through rates and user behavior to identify areas for improvement.
Fragment links can be a valuable tool for enhancing user experience and improving your enterprise SEO efforts if used correctly. By focusing on relevance, accessibility and user satisfaction, you can add jump links that will benefit both your website visitors and search engine rankings.
☝️ Still have questions about jump links, Google Search Console or SEO best practices? Drop us a message.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between fragment identifier and fragment link?
A fragment identifier is a portion of a URL that comes after the ‘#’ symbol. It is also known as a URL fragment or anchor. A fragment link refers to a hyperlink that includes a fragment identifier. It is a link that points to a specific section or element within a webpage.
Are fragment identifiers case-sensitive in URLs?
Fragment identifiers in URLs are generally case-sensitive. This means that the casing of the characters in the fragment identifier matters and can affect the target location within a webpage. For example, if a fragment identifier is specified as “#section1”, it will not scroll to the correct section if the target section is defined as “#Section1” with a different casing.
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