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RE: Click here

From: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 09:46:47 +0300
Message-ID: <621574AE86FAD3118D1D0000E22138A95BDDD5@TIEKE1>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Lynn Alford wrote:

> Does anyone have or know of a good page that explains why 
> "click here" is bad linking practice? 

This has raised an interesting discussion, but since no such page has been
mentioned (unless I missed something relevant, as I tend to do). So I wrote
one:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www/click.html
It has the following summary:

     * "Click here" just looks stupid.
     * "Click here" looks especially stupid when printed on paper.
     * "Click  here"  is  useless  in  a  list of links or when in "links
       reading"  mode,  or whenever a link text is considered as isolated
       from  its  textual  and visual context. - -
     * "Click  here"  is  bad  food  for  search engines. If you say "For
       information  on  pneumonia, click here", search engines won't know
       that  your document contains a link to a document about pneumonia.
       Some  important search engines use the link text in estimating the
       relevance of a link. Using descriptive link texts thus helps users
       in  finding documents they're interested in, potentially including
       your document due to a link text with some key word.
     * There's  usually  a fairly simple way to do things better. Instead
       of  the text "For information on pneumonia, click here", you could
       simply write "pneumonia information".
     * "Click here" is device-dependent. There are several ways to follow
       a link, with or without a mouse. Users probably recognize what you
       mean,  but you are still conveying the message that you think in a
       device-dependent way.

It then presents some more detailed explanations, and it mentions a problem
that "Click here" is often meant to solve: links that are not easily
recognizable as links. (The correct approach is to remove the causes of that
problem, rather than doing something that is supposed to alleviate its
symptoms.)

-- 
Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
http://www.tieke.fi
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
Received on Monday, 12 August 2002 02:42:29 GMT

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