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Accessible Technology

Using Meaningful Link Text

Overview

Link text should be unique within a page, should be meaningful when read out of context, and should help users to know something about their destination if they click on it. Link text such as “Click here” and “More” fail to meet these criteria. Consider the various ways users interact with links:

  • Screen reader users can generate a list of links and navigate them alphabetically. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as “More” is meaningless in this context.
  • Users of speech recognition technology can select a link with a voice command like “click” followed by the link text. Therefore it is also helpful to use unique link text that is short and easy to say.

Techniques

Try to always use link text that meets the criteria explained above. For example, consider the following code, where the link text “click here” does not meet the criteria:

<p>For more information about Husky Athletics, <a href="http://gohuskies.com">click here</a>.</p>

A better approach would be to rephrase the sentence so that “Husky Athletics” is the link text:

<p>For more information, see <a href="http://gohuskies.com">Husky Athletics</a>.</p>

If link text is added at the end of repeated blocks of text, for example “Read more” links at the end of short teasers for blog posts, there are a variety of acceptable techniques for making those links more accessible, without adding clutter or sacrificing readability. For example, the aria-label or aria-labelledby attributes could be added to the link, providing more descriptive link text specifically for screen reader users. In the following example, most screen readers will read the value of the aria-label attribute rather than the link text:

<a href="post.php?post=632" aria-label="More on Using Meaningful Link Text">More...</a>

References