Think Before You Link!

Click here.

That told you nothing, right?

I’m forever annoyed when I see the ubiquitous “click here”. That tells me nothing about the link, people! Neither does “This is a link that you’ll really want to check out.” Again, you have no context for “this”.

This is the commonplace abuse of the hyperlink by lazy Web writers everywhere, but especially by lazy Webloggers. It’s far, far better to integrate your link into a sentence. Examplia gratis:

  • I think this is a crappy excuse for a Web site.
  • I think gfmorris.net is a crappy excuse for a Web site.

Which one sticks with you? Hopefully, it’s the latter, although I don’t want you to think that gfmorris.net really does suck. [I have plans for it; be patient.]

EDIT: The W3C link that Alex posted below in the comments notes that my linking style in the latter example above is still not optimal. Please read the W3C’s thoughts on meaningful link text.

I implore Webloggers everywhere to think before you link. If you give a reader a reason to follow a link, they will. Most people don’t like being told to do something, but if you convince them that it’s their idea, they will do it. šŸ™‚

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