Click Here Now!

from the we-know-how-the-internet-works dept

We’re now pretty far along into the web-based world, and you would think that most people would recognize what a “link” is. However, it appears that a debate is still raging on as to whether or not web-based writing should include the specific call to “click here” when linking to some other webpage. While it’s been a common practice in web advertising, trying to entice people to click on an ad, it probably doesn’t make very much sense any more in standard web writing. People know what a link is. They know that they can click on it if they want to. Maybe some people just like ordering others around — even online.

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Comments on “Click Here Now!”

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armando says:

re:click here

i’m a trainer at a medical institution, and we create a lot of help pages and tutorials for our users. if we don’t specifically include “click here” the users don’t know where to click(i know this because we get call to the help desk asking how to access the tutorials).
i’ve tried to discontinue the use of “click here” as a link, but am always asked to “put it back”.

Fritz Knack (user link) says:

Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance

I understand the arguments against “click here” instructions: redundancy, commanding tone, implied assumption that your reader is an idiot, etc., but as with any zero tolerance policy, there are times when it’s just plain wrong. While the Techdirt article‘s complaint is valid, sometimes the sentence just flows better if you tell the reader he can click here to see the original reference.

Much of what we read on the web is about the found links, so “click here” language is only natural. If you have to twist your sentence into knots to avoid such phrasing, you’ve effectively put your effort into doing your reader a disservice. A good writer will avoid the practice when possible, but I must admit that even my own rants will not prevent a living language from evolving to use what works. “Click here” is simply a part of the language of the web, and like it or not, it’s here to stay.

Anceps says:

Visually impaired

I never used “click here” links since I knew about the visually impaired.

Link accessibility: Some visually impaired web users have speech browsers that have a facility to collate links on a page so the user can tab through them. This helps them quickly assess what a page is all about. But this also means that links will be read out of context. So it is important that the link wording is self-evident on its own. Whereas ?click here?, ?next, ?back?, ?top? are all meaningless without further explanation.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I dislike seeing “click here” in a news article, but, not as much as seeing some text that is colored as a link in the middle of a sentence. I am used to seeing color in a sentence as highlighting to emphasize a point so I am forever thinking that the author wants me to notice something in particular. Then I realize that the author is just showing me a link to a web page and is not emphasizing. I would prefer to see a sentence followed by an icon of a link or “click” for the link to a web page.

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: Links

I like links in color and underlined. It’s the pretty much the default internet style. For emphasis there are italics or even /implied/ italics, bold fonts, or a color different from the links (which should all be the same color.)
While we’re on the subject, why do many corporations feel the need for flash pages with no html links, not even tiny ones at the bottom of the page? I’m trying to work, cut the crap and show me the data.

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