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Jul 16, 2003
Blog Post

Left-hand vs. right-hand links, reader feedback

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Managing Editor Anne Holland

Thanks to all of you who wrote me in response to last week's
SherpaBlog. Here's a quick summary of what I've learned from

- Pages must print:

If you decide to switch right-hand links to the left-side of
pages based on the usability-lab research I mentioned last week,
make sure users can print pages without losing any information
off the right edge.

I had our Web guy Ryan add a "print this story" button to the top
and bottom of every article on our site to help with this

- SEO is unaffected:

For those of you who were concerned that your search engine
optimization might be affected by moving links from the right to
the left, I asked expert Jill Whalen of for advice.

Jill said, "Either way of having the links makes absolutely no
difference to the search engines. Unless your HTML page is over
110K (not including graphics), the spiders will index *all* the
content and follow *all* the links."

- For ecommerce keep your buy button right-side:

Click analysis researcher, David Niu of NetConversions told me
based on his data, "A retail best-practice that we've observed is
that call-to-action should be placed on the right-hand side and
most cross sell and up sell opportunities are also best placed
there or under the product."

- In email, right-side links not always visible:

Loads of you wrote in to note that when it comes to email
newsletters, you don't always open your window all the way to
read. Smaller windows = right-hand columns being cut off.

So if a newsletter (or other mailer) wants clicks, don't put
critical stuff over on the far right.
See Also:

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