In these days of modern web design, it shocks me to see professional websites still using design techniques from the 1990s. One notable example is the use of text like “click here” to create a hyperlink. As the title of this post suggests, your site’s users are not complete morons. We all learned about hyperlinks in the 1990s, so the helpful instruction that you are trying to provide your users is simply redundant (we already know where or where not to click).
For example, take this eWeek article on Google’s Big Daddy overhaul. There are two places in the article where the aforementioned error occurs. Both instances, interestingly enough, are the only underlined links in the entire article. This fact points out one area where this “error” as I’ve called it is actually acceptable (although the underlying problem is one that is still frowned upon).
Many websites style their hyperlinks as regular text; that is, the links don’t appear underlined. There are two methods that such sites employ to help users identify these plain text links: either the link is rendered using a different color, or the link is rendered with a bold font weight. Both ways, I would argue, are inaccessible. That argument aside, however, the text “click here” can actually become useful for color blind or low vision users. It provides some sort of clue as to where the user should click to proceed.
I offer you then two suggestions for your own website. First, style your links using something that’s plainly obvious to see (underlines work great). And second, don’t feel the need to use “click here” as the text for a hyperlink. If your links are styled correctly, you shouldn’t need such redundancy.