Skip to Content

I’m glad you clicked.  You probably did so because you read a descriptive text appearing alongside the title telling you where the link was going to. 

The same thing happens when you see a hyperlinked “Click Here” on a webpage: you click because the text appearing before, after, below or above gives you an idea of where it’s going – you’re human so this form of analysis comes easy.  However, if you’re search engine bot or crawler, things aren’t so obvious at all. 

Search engine bots rely primarily on the hyperlinked text to determine what the linked content is about.  A generic click here or, even worst, link provides 0 information on where that link is going.

Why is this important?  Consider the following: there are almost a billion of these click heres indexed by Google and the results are far from exciting or even relevant:

Click Here

    

Every time you insert a link with click here for descriptive text, you’re missing an opportunity to enhance the visibility of the linked content because click here links are only relevant on the page itself.  By hyperlinking with descriptive text, you help search engines correctly index the linked content allowing other web users the opportunity to access your linked content from search engines in addition to wherever you posted the link in the first place.

Keep in mind that the text being of an alternate color and underlined tells readers that it’s a hyperlink so you don’t need to remind them about it.

I must admit that inserting a generic click here is much easier than linking a descriptive text. However, the rewards of enhanced visibility are worth the extra effort (and you’ll also be sharpening your writing skills at the same time).

To report this post you need to login first.

9 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Clinton Jones
    Reading this made me laugh, I guess out of embarrassment more than anything else. Scientifically speaking, as you have of course it makes perfect sense. Aesthetically speaking I think the challenge is that people only think about indexing some of the time, they’re all about the look and feel. The worst has to be images that have no useful meta data but are clickable, such as al=clickable image or just image; these all speak to good web design i suppose. Incidentally there are over a billion images lidexed on Google called…. “image”
    (0) 
  2. Gregory Misiorek
    i learned that lesson almost 10 years ago, but that was only because of bad style. i got burned recently, too, for not being descriptive enough.

    so, this is a good reminder of what happens to your links when everyone has already forgotten what context they were in. good tip and thank you for pointing the obvious.

    (0) 
  3. Hendrik Achenbach
    Jason, there is another reason why “Click here” must not be used as a hyperlink text, and that is accessibility. Visually impaired computer users who use a screen reader on web pages can tell the device to focus on the hyperlinks on a page. It will then just read out the hyperlinks. Not very helpful if the device keeps saying “Click here” – the users would not know if the hyperlink is worth following, and – just like the search engine – do not have the context information.
    (0) 
    1. Jason Lax Post author
      You’re absolutely right: I learned about this nice html solution (Title Attribute) after I posted this blog.  Unfortunately, it’s not always available and, when it is, it’s not always used consistently or correcly: just like alt tags on images are all too often missing or misused. 

      Thanks also for those links.

      (0) 

Leave a Reply