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Click here

July 2nd, 2015 by mdmcginnis

For years, Google has referred to “click here” as “a not-very-optimal way of linking”. But you might have heard that, nowadays, web links should say “click here” or click “here” instead of providing more detailed link text.  In fact, one marketer informed me that Google actually prefers “click here.” I was interested in looking up the background of that rumor, since SEO has been a specialty of mine, and  I worked as a consultant in that field before I was a Quality Rater for Google.

As I reviewed Google’s revised Link Scheme document, it doesn’t recommend that we add click here, only that we don’t add useless “links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites,” such as There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.

True, according to John Mueller from Google, links in press releases should be nofollowed, but that refers to a link attribute, not the link text. It doesn’t recommend that we add click here. And it doesn’t apply to articles on our own websites, such as Texas A&M Today.

Since we are a government agency charged with making our websites accessible to people with disabilities, the law is more strict with us.  Section 508 is being updated to mirror the W3C’s WCAG 2.0 Accessibility standards, which includes the following goal:

“2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level A)”

One reason for that goal is that screen reader users often skim through all the links on a web page, and without meaningful link text, all they would hear would be “click here” “here” and “here.”

 For further reading

Techniques and Failures for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

Don’t use “click here” as link text

Links should never say click here

Calling for an end to click here links in email

Top ten web design mistakes

Revealed: the two most useless words on any website

Click here, read more, no thanks!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 Search
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