There have been a number of edits where hyperlink text has been edited to something like

anchors words | target domain

Here is one example, in the first line of the question.


What does the community think about this format? Is it OK for links to have this additional information in the body of the text?

3 Answers 3


We should allow some flexibility for personal preference, but I find the format unhelpful:

example 1

example 2

Reviewers and editors should reject it when suggested and replace it when encountered on the main site.

Examples I would regard as preferable:

Links should fit naturally in the body of the post wherever possible.

We should identify the author (give attribution) and include some context so the reader can decide if clicking the link will be useful.

Raw links e.g.https://www.postgresql.org/docs/10/static/functions-math.html should be improved in most cases.


I dislike this proposed format. I think having the link target in the body of the text adds complexity without providing additional value. If a user wants to know the target URL there are any number of ways of finding it in all modern browsers. There is no guarantee the embedded text actually matches the URL. Additional maintenance is generated should the target change.


I agree that the format defined in the original question is slightly overkill:

Implicit conversion does not affect performance | Database Administrators Stack Exchange

I think the user is trying to develop his own personal style when answering questions on DBA.SE.

I personally find it definitely overloaded from a readability perspective and I think I would revert it back to something less "intrusive".

Likewise, when I started out on DBA.SE and was reading through Q&As I would normally refrain from clicking on links, when I didn't know where it would lead me to. (Think: Ad-Networks, super cookies, trojans, hacked sites,...). It would hinder my "flow of reading".

Yes, I know, the links can be viewed when hovering over the text, but who wants to move ones mouse every time a link is displayed?

Single Reference Link

When I started creating my own questions and answers I started adding a reference link right after the referenced material which would look like this:

Reference: Back Up and Restore of System Databases (SQL Server) (Microsoft Docs)

Group Reference Link List

If I had a bunch of links I'd add a group reference link list at the end of my answer like this:

Tool Reference List

In-line Links

In some cases I will have in-line links in the text and I will then format them like this:

Your friend is sqlcmd (Microsoft Technet)


The links are sort of self-explanatory and everybody knows to which site the link "should" be pointing to.

Editing Other Peoples Posts

When modifying other peoples post, I try to find a less intrusive form of linking. I'll convert pure links to a reference title with link, or add some additional information in parenthesis to improve the quality of the post. In rare cases (I think I've done that once so far) I will add a reference list at the end of the authors post.

  • 2
    "Yes, I know, the links can be viewed when hovering over the text, but who wants to move ones mouse every time a link is displayed?" I hope you are doing that anyway — these two links aren't the same: google.com https://google.com (although they look different in this comment, they look identical in an answer unless you hover). Apr 16, 2018 at 11:42
  • Oh, when I want to click on the link, I will first hover over them. But when reading I like to understand the context of the links displayed. Just having a link doesn't give me the title of the article. Having just a title, doesn't give me the site context. And the links in my answer don't always go where you think they might. I was focusing on the readability experience in my answer.
    – John K. N.
    Apr 16, 2018 at 11:49
  • ...and if I don't know where the link goes to and don't trust the site, then I won't touch it.
    – John K. N.
    Apr 16, 2018 at 11:51
  • that makes sense :) Apr 16, 2018 at 12:01

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