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No “Click Here” Links

One of my major pet peeves about websites are “click here” links. They not only make web content long-winded, but also cause issues with user experience, web accessibility, and search engine optimization. The “Click here” links were originally meant to be used with a mouse, but there are people who use keyboards and screen readers who would not benefit from it. They are also not friendly to search engines.

There are following reasons for not using the “click here” links:

  • They are not modern: Many users know that links are supposed to be clicked, and some even find it offensive as being told that they are stupid not to know that they are supposed to click a link. They are also move their attention away from the interface to a mouse.
  • They are not descriptive: The links do not say where they go and do not make sense out of context.
  • They are not SEO friendly: Search engines would use text for links as keywords. If a page has many “click here” links, they are not as effective as the links that are more descriptive.
  • They are not printer friendly: People print out pages with “click here” links that break up the flow of text.
  • They are not accessible: Screen readers users would get frustrated hearing the “click here” links and trying to figure out which one to pick to go to the intended page.

The example of the “click here” link is the following:

To learn more about usability, click here.

The alternative should be as the following:

Learn more about usability.

Good link text should be descriptive, short as possible, and written in plain language. Also, if the link is to something other than a web page, such as a PDF, the users need to be notified – for example, “Download application (PDF)”.

Published in Web Design

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