I’m an advocate for sensible usability on web sites and fully support the usability guidelines that recommend descriptive link text. There are measurable improvements to a users browsing experience when a webmaster makes a conscious decision to use useful link text, instead of an uninformative ‘click here’.
One particular aspect of useful link text that I try to abide by at all times, is that the link text should be descriptive and should reflect the resource that it is linking to. As an example, if you’re linking to a web page about the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, then a useful link might be Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
A popular technology site, TechCrunch has various web real estates that it promotes at every opportunity – however I think of late they are going a little too far with their frivolous, slap happy linking. Recently, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California has secured the manufacturing plant from Tesla, bringing it back from New Mexico.
In the article on TechCrunch, they provide a number of links (link text and URI below):
- Tesla Motors, http://www.teslamotors.com/
- the Roadster model, http://www.crunchgear.com/tag/tesla/
- “Come with me if you want to live”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHV6OzHjWV8
- “Do it, do it now”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6ALySsPXt0
and my beef is with the second in the above list. When viewing that article, I expected that link to take me to the Roadster vehicle home page within the Tesla Motors site, instead if took me off to a completely useless page regarding Tesla Motors (the company) within their business information site CrunchGear.
I’m all for TechCrunch promoting their other web assets, however I’m confident that their readers would enjoy their site that much more if they’d find a more appropriate manner in which to promote CrunchGear instead of deceptively linking into that site.