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An app idea with the potential to make links obsolete

   
11:53 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I don't know if this exists out there yet, but it should, especially on cell devices and tablets.

Much like you can shift pages and re-size them with the flick of a fingertip you would be able to convert any text you want into a link to see search results for the text you choose.

Webmasters could then just bold text they want you to turn into a link and leave the linking to the search engines. There would be no need to create links unless you want to choose a specific page, the work would fall to the search engines and you would no longer need to worry about nofollow/trust of link/being accused of selling links, etc.

slide over a word or phrase of your choosing and click to see search results. Webmasters need no longer worry about all sorts of link related ranking headaches(no more link building, woot!).

If you read an article and want to know more about something you are likely going to do a search anyway, why not create the link on the fly from the USER end?

I say let's build it!
5:47 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Much like you can shift pages and re-size them with the flick of a fingertip you would be able to convert any text you want into a link to see search results for the text you choose.

Webmasters could then just bold text they want you to turn into a link and leave the linking to the search engines....

Sgt_Kickaxe - If I'm understanding you correctly, this sounds a little bit like something Microsoft suggested years ago, wanting its OS to turn any highlighted link into hypertext... a feature which was hooted down by webmasters who didn't want their content used to send visitors offsite.

There's a similar feature implemented now in the Google Toolbar, and it's very handy for looking up a word or reference... it almost works like footnotes. You can set the toolbar so highlighted text appears in the toolbar's Search window.

The problem is, of course, that since you're not making the choice of destination, your site in effect loses the power to vote. I'm sure that Google does pay attention to where people go via its highlighted Toolbar search, but they're not crediting the choice of destination to the wisdom of the webmaster of the source site, as there's no logical way they can.

I believe that this choice of destination is currently a factor in the algorithm. I've noticed in various posts you've been making that you're considering linking out to be a problem, whereas it's really an opportunity.
6:54 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



It's an opportunity fraught with dangers, one I'd like to not have to worry about. The real benefit would be to not have to spend time on backlink building! It would be a simple method for visitors to go where they please and would force search engines to stop relying on link values as a rating factor. They would have their hands full trying to sign a contract with browser developers in order to be the default providers.

Not sending visitors offsite vs not having to link build, hmmm.

If someone manages to make cell devices and tablets take a user to whatever words they choose to turn into a link themselves it would be a game changer, search engines would need to adapt quickly. I wonder if they are already building towards a solution in case it happens.
7:53 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



you can kind of do that in firefox already. if you highlight some text and rightclick, one of the options is to search for the text in your default search engine
12:26 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)



In Chrome, right-clicking on the selected text brings up a menu with the option to "Search Google for X," where X is the selected text.

While I use this often to save the step of copying and pasting into the search box, I absolutely would not like the web to work this way instead of using direct linking. As a page author, I'd much rather have the control of direct linking than abdicate that power to a search engine. And as a page reader, I'd rather the author recommend another page personally than just write words and wave their hands in the general direction of the search engines, which have a plethora of power already.

I do like the outside-the-box thinking, though.
5:17 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I am afraid the web will stop growing if this were to be implemented. New sites are indexed by search engines following the hyperlinks. If there were no hyperlinks, no new websites would indexed. Besides, web would remain a privileged club of a small percentage of websites that would rank high for the highlighted text.