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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
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

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
Received on Monday, 12 August 2002 02:42:29 UTC

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