Link text standards

Take a look at these two sentences:

Which is better?

Answer? the first one. There’s a couple reasons.

First, it turns out that descriptive text in links like this is actually really helpful for search engines to determine what’s on that page. So providing descriptive links can really help improve search.

Second, if you’re linking to another Lane page from within Drupal, if you use descriptive text you don’t need to worry about ever updating the link. We’ll take care of it for you. If you use the URL as your link text, then you might get a weird situation where the link text no longer matches the url you’re linking to – it says “lanecc.edu/science/bio” but you’re actually sent to “lanecc.edu/science/biology”.

Third, it simply looks better. No one wants to read long, ugly looking urls as part of their text.

“But wait,” you say, “what about when someone prints the page?”

We’ve thought of that. When you print a page from the Lane website, we automatically include the url next to the linked text. Of course, we’d rather you didn’t print web pages in the first place, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

Of course, there’s exceptions to this rule. Use common sense.

We’ve added a check to our linkchecker, so from here on out we’ll be actively hunting for these links. We’ll fix some of them for you, but we may also contact you for some help rewording your content.

As always, if you have any questions about best practices with content, send Lori an email.

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