Today we will talk about what we refer to as the "Click here" links. We have all seen them and also click on them nearly everyday. Many of us want to add the "Click here on our links but sometimes this can result into a problem too. Nowadays, its all about navigation, user-interface and experience on the web and by having "Click here" links they somewhat affect your site's negatively. What Google hates is when the site has bad user experience, this will inadvertently lead to a low page rank as Google sees you linking between your own pages.
One client asked us " In what sense is this bad user experience"? - Having the word Click simply diverts the attention of the user from your site's user interface and on their mouse. This simply leads to the shifting of the user's focus away from the interface and content. A suggestion we gave our client was to search and use a different verb as opposed to "Click". We are sure there is always a better word then Click that will keep the users engaged and more focused on the site's interface then their mouse.
You must have come across some sites that do not use the word "Click" and instead use just the word "Here". Now the issue in doing this is that it hides what the user will be clicking. There could be content around the link that potentially explains to the user what they are clicking on but when the link is clicked on its own they won't have an idea at all. In this case, the user experience gets slowed down as they have to first read the content around the link and then navigate further. This is what Google does not like at all as having links saying "here" will confuse the user on what link is which, as he/she will have to open the link to check whether they're different or not. One suggestion will be to label the links so that the user knows what exactly they are clicking on and makes it easier to distinguish too. Another aspect is a changing in color, contrast or font can somehow help the users find your links.
Well one thing you must understand is that what your links say, will say a lot about the website hence it is crucial to have the right words on the links.
A different way of Linking?
Some experts debate that instead of linking to the words "Click here", you should focus on linking to the actual nouns of a sentence. This might somewhat give the user a better judgment or idea of what they are clicking on as opposed to clicking on an abstract. Some experts say to avoid linking just to verbs as they're not clear in giving the users the right message across wheres the linking to nouns helps the user to understand on what they're clicking on without fully reading the sentence or phrase.
Be Specific to the Links
It is best practice to be as specific as possible to whatever you are linking to. For example, whether its an article or book, link to their titles and not just the words itself. By doing this, the user will acquire more detailed information on what to expect after they have clicked on the link.
Some link experts suggest to have the link at the end of the sentence as this will make it easier to spot by the users. This might also have a positive effect on the speed the user is able to find the link instead of going back and forth to locate it within the content.
Whenever you are thinking of utilizing the words Click and here with in your links, do recall that it will have a negative effect on the user experience which is detriment in SEO ranking as per Google's policy. The main challenge in this process is to be able to say "Click here" without using those words. There are many ways to do this as we have explained above and now its your responsibility to make sure the users will have a great experience of your interface.