The great "click here" debate

At the beginning of my multimedia journalism career, I used the phrase “click here” to direct users to different components of a multimedia project or web page. I never had a real reason, I just did it. Later, a mentor from the New York Times told me to eliminate click here in favor of more natural wording. She instead used a few words from a complete sentence as her link text. I used this same technique until I arrived at the Los Angeles Times where “click here” was absolutely necessary element of Flash projects and links were better if they blinked or were a very different color.

So who is right? A quick, unscientific Google search of the nation’s 10 largest newspapers revealed that “click here” is getting some major play.

Click heres per site

1. USA Today – 86,600
2. The Wall Street Journal – 462,000
3. New York Times – 11,300,000
4. L.A. Times – 7,140
5. Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News – 231,000
6. Chicago Tribune – 47,900
7. The Washington Post – 29,900
8. New York Daily News – 5,290
9. New York Post – 25,700
10. Houston Chronicle – 4,530

USA Today ranks highest amongst major news sites in Google Search for its use of the phrase. CNN and Fox News follow close behind.

A recent study shows that “click here” does indeed make users click there. Another study found that “click to continue” works much better than “continue to article” or “read more.”