Link placement preferences


in Internet matters

For future reference, which approach do people prefer:

A) Putting links at a gramatically sensible place in sentences, i.e.: “A new report has been issued on climate change and water.”

B) Using the keywords as links, i.e.: “A new report has been issued on climate change and water?”

I have used both inconsistently in the past, generally thinking that A is more human-friendly and B is more Google-friendly.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Padraic April 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm

My habit is to link to the concrete noun you are referring to (so in this case “A new report”), and lacking that the action (“has been issued”). I’m not going to change good style for PageRank’s sake.

Matt April 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

To me the above mentioned Option C makes the most sense from a style perspective. Link the noun, not the verb.

Sarah April 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

A makes no sense whatsoever to me. Like it or not, the underline and colour change put a visual stress on certain words and I want those to be important words, otherwise drags my attention away from the point of the sentence. B thus seems sensible to me and I’m surprised that you view it as the less human-friendly of the two. For the same reason I think B is generally preferable over C (although there might be cases in which the nouns would be more important than the keywords e.g. “a new meta-analysis” over “treatment of depression”).

BuddyRich April 17, 2009 at 7:04 am

I’m in the C camp… unless you are linking to a “definition” or reference source (wiki), then link the word or term you are linking to a definition for… kinda goes without saying I think but using your example:

“A new report has been issued on climate change and water?”

link the “A new report” (or even just report) to take me to the report, and link “climate change” to take me to a definition of climate change.

The problem with Option B, is it could lead people to think you are sending them to a definition of climate change as people have already read passed the report part of the sentence.

Option A is valid if you write more in a 1st person style:


“Check out the new Transformers 2 movie trailer here!”

you’d link “here” not “Transformers 2 movie trailer”

but you tend not to write like that. At least with your news/discussion type posts…

megan April 17, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’m strongly for Option C as well. I like links that tell me what I’m going to get after I click them.

In this case, what am I going to get? A new report!

Not climate change. I get that when I walk out my door.

David Scrimshaw April 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I would probably use a different sentence and link it like this:

Yesterday, Milan released a new report on climate change and water.

. April 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm

What Googlebot sees

Anchor text gives Google additional information about your site, so if it’s not descriptive or useful (for example, the link in the text “Click here” provides no data to Google), you might want to work with the owners of those sites to update it.

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