Click Here For More Information – Bad Text Links – SEO Tip Week 26

Written on June 29, 2007 – 7:28 pm | by Shell Harris |

If you have been following this blog or looking into SEO you know how very important building links can be to your site’s success in the search engine rankings. Link building involves two types of links: Links pointing to your site (external linking), and links on your site pointing to other pages of your site (internal linking). While we don’t always have the ability to control external linking, a poorly worded internal link is inexcusable. The single, easiest and least low effort thing to remember is to make your links descriptive. If that is too much to remember, then just remember this, no links should be labeled “click here,” “more information,” “read more” or any other variation of these words.

I realize this might bring disagreement from the user experience community but I think we can all agree that your average user doesn’t need to be told to click a link and if it isn’t obviously a link (underlined) you have bigger problems on your site with usability.

Every time I see a “click here” link I shake my head at the wasted link opportunity that is being lost. You probably know how powerful link text can be in helping your rankings so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find that the site that ranks for the term “click here” doesn’t even have those words within the text of the page that is ranking for “click here”. Care to guess what company’s site is ranking for it?

I’ll give you a hint; you’ve most likely downloaded the application and probably more than once. The site, or page actually, ranked number one for the term “click here”is the Acrobat Reader download page. Make sense? This clue might help: Click here to download Acrobat Reader. This proves the power of the text in your link, so why waste it with a non-descriptive textual link?

I can provide thousands of examples, but let’s look at a few examples where a descriptive text link would be much better.

Early Detection Key to Preventing Vision Loss from Glaucoma More than 2 million Americans over the age of 40 have glaucoma, but many of those living with the disease don’t even know it. – Find out more HERE

Instead, remove the “Find out more HERE” and place the link on the headline text and best of all it doesn’t require any rewriting:

Early Detection Key to Preventing Vision Loss from Glaucoma
More than 2 million Americans over the age of 40 have glaucoma, but many of those living with the disease don’t even know it.

  • Apple’s iPhone Page
    Being the huge Apple fan that I am it pains me to point to them as a bad example, but the new iPhone page is just that, a bad example. On this page I count five “read more” links and one “learn more”. It can be argued that Apple doesn’t need SEO help for the iPhone, but the principal and lost opportunity still applies.
  • Joint Commission Home Page
    I count five “read more” links, incredibly listed below descriptive titles without a link. What better way to get listing for their top stories than linking to them with keywords in the story? Placing the link on the headline would solve this, much like we suggested for the Prevent Blindness site.
  • Burst Media Contact Page
    One of the more ridiculous offenders of the “click here” mistake.

Making simple changes would have helped all of these sites make better use of their internal linking as well as helped with their site’s ranking for the words in the link.

Of course, going beyond the decision to not use useless text links and thinking about the best keywords and phrases to use will help even more. A few seconds, or better yet, a few minutes applied to thinking about your internal, contextual linking can bring in great rewards. Take the time and…Think before you Link!

Shell Harris co-founded Big Oak on January 1, 2004. In a previous career he was a print & web designer and often developed the sites he designed before focusing on his current passion for search engine optimization and Internet marketing. He is an avid researcher, SEO specialist, company mouthpiece and is always looking for the next big thing in Internet Marketing.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Click Here For More Information – Bad Text Links – SEO Tip Week 26”

  2. By Marti on Jul 1, 2007 | Reply

    If anything, putting a proper link text is recommended for usability and consistency. Not everyone “clicks” to activate a link (some tap with a stylus, some use a keyboard and it seems fingers are all the rage now) and more importantly this sort of text doesn’t really help you figure out what the link target is.

  3. By Billy on Jul 1, 2007 | Reply

    Certainly easy to point out to clients on what’s wrong with their unoptimized link anchors, but it is hard for them to implement your recommendations because high level management like to treat their website visitors as idiots (who need to be directed to click here).

  4. By Shell Harris on Jul 2, 2007 | Reply

    Yes, we often run into management that will have their own ideas about what is best, but gentle reminders that they are paying us to help them can work. Sometimes though, they don’t. All we can do is keep trying.

  5. By Wordpress Advice on Jul 10, 2007 | Reply

    90% of wordpress blogs utilize their front page with more tag. This result in a teaser of the story. Although the title is made a link as well, but do you think using more tags like this is bad as well. I don’t see more tag used on your front page. Would it not duplicate contents in some areas of your site or have you taken care of that ?
    When Pros Get It Wrong | Using More Tags

  6. By Shell Harris on Jul 10, 2007 | Reply

    I have to admit that I change my opinion of using the more link sometimes. My last opinion is to only use it when I have a particularly long blog post. I use it then so I am not monopolizing my blog home page with one post.

    I don’t worry about duplicate content because it only stays on the home page for a week or two and there is so much other content on the home it doesn’t get flagged as duplicate content or if it does it is only for a short time. In the end I’d rather have the whole article available on the home and sent in the RSS feed. It is a personal preference and for today, I stand by it. ;-)

  7. By Mike Belasco on Jul 16, 2007 | Reply

    I’ve also seen this taken the extra step. Let’s say for management you need to keep the click here link. If you add a ‘keyword rich’ link as in the examples here and then implement the ‘click here’ in Javascript, the search engines will really only count the text link as the link, and ignore the JS implementation. I believe I learned this from Leslie Rhode who created optilink

  8. By Bill on May 27, 2008 | Reply

    yeh that old “click here” text needs to go. Sites have to start using keywords in their anchor text to help with seo and minimize the “click here” unless its something like “click here for seo services”

  9. By SEO/webdesign=1.prioritet on May 31, 2009 | Reply

    I think we all have to admit that click here is almost away. I think people finally understands this. Even advertisers in bereaus knows it too, but they don´t think about the text value and seo, but more about making it easier for the visitors.

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