Link is Unclearly Labeled or Unlabeled

Short Description

There is no or unclear text associated with a link

Long Description

  • Sometimes a link is just an icon or graphic without alt text. When a screen reader encounters an unlabeled link, it will try to find any information possible to associate with the link. It might simply say “graphic link,” or it might find a nonsense string of characters to associate, reading something like “img6374942.jpg link.” Neither of these labels is useful to the screen reader user.
  • When a link is unlabeled, a screen reader user might miss an important path or function. Sometimes they will ignore it, other times they will give it a try to see what it does. This is tedious.
  • Screen reading software has the ability to search for words in a page or to compile a list of elements such as links. This can be helpful in navigating content more quickly. Not properly labeling a link means a user cannot search for the link name or find it in a list of links.
  • When text associated with a link is unclear, it can confuse a user, especially when the user does not have contextual information.

Example of Issue

The following video demonstrates a screen reader user interacting with information that is only provided visually.



Impacted Assistive Technology

Screen Reader
Screen Magnifier

Impacted Type of Device


  • Make sure all links are properly labeled in text.
  • If a link is an image or graphic, including if it is an image of text, use alternative text.
  • More information is available in the article Making Sure More than Eyes Can Detect an Element on the AUL site.