Click Here For More Information – Bad Text Links – SEO Tip Week 26
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.
- Prevent Blindness Home Page
I found six instances of the phrase “Find out more here”. I’ll use one example from the home page:
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!