When the web was young and developers didn’t know better, everyone used the Click Here type link. You’d have pages where all of the links would be:
Click here to download our brand new software.
All of a sudden, the ‘Powers of Usability’, stated that links should link to what they are talking about, without becoming unusable. We’d start getting links like.
Now this makes more sense to many developers, and Google loves it, but what about those people who don’t have a clue? Links can be styled in many ways: not underlined, overlined, pink, blue, black etc. Gone are the standards when all links were blue and underlined, and perhaps with the push to descriptive links, we’ve missed out a chunk of the audience that actually can’t tell what is a link.
So what can we do?
Well, Google often looks at links in your document, and pays the most attention to the first link (when all of the links point to the same place), which gives us something like:
Is this more ugly? Possibly. Is it more hassle to maintain? Certainly. But is there a benefit to those users who still expect an obvious place to click? It would be interesting to see some stats on the above link as to which one more people actually clicked on. I would wager it’s the ‘click here’, rather than the ‘search engine’ link.
What are your thoughts?