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8:12 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am wondering if using target="_blank" or target="_new" is harmful to serps. I use the target on all external links in my site. Does it hurt, help or doesn't matter?
12:51 am on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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As long as the URL in the href attribute resolves correctly, a target attribute doesn't affect the power of the link.
11:18 am on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Be reassured please
1:03 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just don't overdo it though, Google might not care but too many new windows will confuse and annoy your visitors.

From my site stats it is obvious that some visitors do not see the new window and keep clicking the link. A note on the page that the link opens in a new window is a good idea.
2:19 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is an interesting question. Logically, I can certainly see that a search engine might value links that open in the same window more highly than links that open in a new window.

However, I have always operated a policy that outbound links open in a new window and I think a lot of people do the same.

On a side note - I would like to see browsers use a different cursor for links that open in a new window.

Kaled.
10:54 pm on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A bit of CSS should be able to change the cursor for you, Kaled. Which other cursor do you suggest?
6:41 am on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Aren't most of the mainstream browsers blocking new windows from opening up by default these days? Power of the link vs. power of the browser/user?

Is it really necessary to open outbound links (or internal ones, for that matter) in a new window? I'd like to say 'no' from a usability standpoint, especially if it's set as a default to block them from opening.

Should it affect one's ranking in SERP's? Maybe it should...
12:32 pm on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A bit of CSS should be able to change the cursor for you, Kaled. Which other cursor do you suggest?

In my own code, yes but on the internet as a whole I would have to write a browser extension. As for what cursor, none of the existing standard cursors would do so it would have to be a custom cursor - maybe the standard hand with a rectangle and a plus sign in it.

When you think about it, it's pretty silly that you can see the target url of a standard link by looking at the status bar but there is no way to tell if it will open in a new window (or tab).

Kaled.
6:41 pm on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm totally with you, kaled. So many times I'm using a hub page that links out to a lot of different resources. I value it when the website makes sure they open in a new window, but I would also appreciate some clue in the interface.