Feb 11 2009

Click Here Links Must Die

One of my biggest pet peeves are "click here" links. It's the lowest common denominator method for placing links in content. I never really liked them, but I vowed to never use them and rally against the practice starting about four years ago.

Zach Dunn over at Built Internet! apparently hates them as much as I do and wrote an article to that effect. He makes the argument that "click here" links don't really mean anything in context and that if "the links are clear enough, a user should not have to be instructed where to click." Not to mention, "click here" does nothing towards improving search engine rank.

It's such a small issue, but something that's very easy to remedy. Take a few minutes to rewrite a sentence next time you find yourself linking with "click here." Think of it as providing the user with a brief description of what it is they're about to see.


Yeah, contextual links are where it's at.

Will — Feb 12 2009

Thanks for the tip. It's been tempting for me to link to "click here" since starting out here in n00ber-ville, but the search engine point makes a lot of sense. It's never really pissed me off that much, but I got your back man.

Mark — Feb 12 2009

@Mark Ha, I don't think it's really a "n00ber-ville" issue per se. Really just a different way to think about linking.

Another reason I didn't highlight from the article is that it adds length to sentences. Instead of just linking words in the flow of the sentence, you usually have to tack on something like "to read this post click here." That's six words you didn't need to write and the user didn't need to read. It's a time saver!

The search rank part would really just be for the destination of said link. Linking something like "great shoe store" to Zappos helps them more than "click here." However, it doesn't necessarily do you any good. Help and help alike, I say.

For the record, "click here" links don't piss me off, but my hope for humanity dies a little inside each time I see one.

Robbie — Feb 16 2009