BGA Web Site style guide: Link Text

When putting a link on the page, you should make the text of the link (that is, the words in the sentence that the user must click on to follow the link) meaningful. The classic bad example is:

To find out more about the BGA, click here.

‘Click here’ gives absolutely no clue about where this link goes, which makes skim-reading the page to find a particular link much harder. That is bad.

It gets worse: for a blind or partially sighted using a screen-reader to access the site, this sort of thing makes the site almost unusable. Then, to add insult to injury, the sentence uses the word ‘click’. That assumes that the reader is using a computer with a mouse, which is not universally true. Where possible, avoid assumptions like that. If you must instruct the user, tell them to ‘follow’ the link, or ‘go to’ the page that the link points to (or synonyms). They will know the appropriate procedure for following links with their set-up.

Now for some good examples:

There is another page giving the results of British go tournaments.

Based on the European rating list of 5th May 2004.

The ratings FAQ explains this table, and how to use the information it contains.

[The BGA] also has a selection of promotional material for use by Go clubs and at publicity events.

If you plan to take children to a Go tournament, you should read the BGA policy on working with children and young people.

Writing sentences so that there is a sequence of words that can naturally be used as the text of the required link is something of an art. It is not always easy, although it does get easier with practice. Sometimes you have to be prepared to completely reorder the sentence to make it happen. If you are stuck, it often helps to ask another person. I am always happy to be asked about this sort of thing.

Punctuation and links

The rule here is that almost all punctuation goes outside the link. If the link is at the end of the sentence, or before a comma, the full stop, exclamation mark, comma, or whatever, goes outside the link. This applies even if the link forms an entire sentence. If a link is in brackets, then the brackets go outside the link. However, it only a part of link text is bracketed, those brackets go inside the link.

Worked examples

Example A

For example, Simon Goss asked my about three examples from the policies page.

Not so good: (Simon’s comment: Naff repetition.)

3. Working with Children & Young People

See BGA Policy on Working with Children and Young People.

Better: (The sentence now at least conveys some other information, the fact that a policy exits as a separate document, as well a repeating the title. That seems unavoidable, since the policy has a good clear name that describes exactly what it is.)

3. Working with Children & Young People

The BGA has a separate Policy on Working with Children and Young People.

Example B

Not so good: (Simon’s comment: Ungrammatical construction.)

The BGA provides facilities for distributing tournament entry forms with the newsletter and hosting them on the BGA web site. These facilities and many other recommendations are described in Publicising Go Tournaments.

Better: (Nothing wrong with putting the link at the start of the sentence.)

The BGA provides facilities for distributing tournament entry forms with the newsletter and hosting them on the BGA web site. The page Publicising Go Tournaments explains how this works, alongside other recommendations for tournament organisers.

Example C

Not so good: (Simon’s comment: Stilted workaround to avoid ungrammatical constructions.)

The official version of the rules for the British Go Championship, the British Pair Go Championship and the British Youth Championships is the BGA Championships Rules page.

Better:

The BGA Championships Rules page contains the official rules for the British Go Championship, the British Pair Go Championship and the British Youth Championships.





Last updated Sun Apr 21 2013. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.