When it comes to link writing, click here is so 1996. We’re talking 14.4k modems, a CompuServe account and the Spice Girls singing “Wannabe” on your portable electronic device, a.k.a. a Sony Discman.
Remember Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal? Your click here link does. Besides being dated, what’s wrong with links like click here, read more and get started?
7 problems with the weakest links
These generic links:
1. Make it harder to skim. Links, being blue and underlined, are highly skimmable. No wonder links and other clickable elements make up nearly half of all “eye stops,” according to EyeTrack III, a Poynter Institute study.
“Users look for links on pages like puppies look for your best shoes,” write Kara Pernice, Kathryn Whitenton and Jakob Nielsen in How People Read on the Web.
But when web visitors skim a generic link, it’s basically a wasted effort, write Pernice, et al. Generic links require people to read extra words to determine the link’s meaning. Remember, the folks are skimming for a reason: They don’t want to read.
2. Reduce SEO benefits, according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen. Search engines use anchor text as an additional cue to what the page or document is about.
3. Make visitors pause before clicking. Before clicking a generic link, visitors pause to ask two questions: 1. “Where are you taking me?” and 2. “Is this a new link, or are you sending me to the same page over and over again?”
This uncertainty causes cognitive strain,...
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