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What would be the advantages/disadvantages to the two?

  • In which context? – unor Aug 8 '16 at 16:55
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Reasons to use a clickable word

  • The URLs to be linked to are dynamic and of unknown length and it would negatively impact the design of your site to deal with such variations. Though this could be worked around with css based truncation/clipping.
  • The URL is not the primary context. For example if you have a list of people and beside their names you link to their website, phone, and email. So a "John Doe (website)(phone)(e-mail)" type scenario. Or especially in cases where the link is being used for navigation or actions.

Reasons to use a clickable URL

  • The URL is the primary context. For example if the intent is to really reveal the URL itself and it is just made into a link out of convenience.
  • You want the page to be especially friendly to any plain-text based browsers. Emails for example can lose their HTML formatting without you having a way to intervene.

I assume in your case you can't, but in general you want to avoid having to address this problem altogether. In most cases you wouldn't need to write "Our recommended search engine is Google (website)" or "Our recommended search engine is Google (www.google.com)". Instead you could just go with the more direct "Our recommended search engine is Google".

Obviously an overly simple example, but if you can rework your problem into a similar scenario it might make things easier.

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