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Decrease Bounce Rate by Using target="_blank" on External Links

Original posted on Erik Vold's Blog

PageRank is built on links, so search engine optimization is centered around them, and people link to the entities that they support. But many times, I see people increasing their own bounce rate by linking to an external page they support without using the target="_blank" attribute+value pair on the anchor tag.

This especially does not make sense most of the time, because most of the time, the external link is really a side note to the website and webpage at hand. So, using target="_blank", which forces the link to open in a new tab or window, is exactly what you should want, for the simple reason that it makes sense, and that it will reduce your bounce rate.

Don't be a fool, use target="_blank"!

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Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
I wouldn't advocate the use of the target attribute since it is being depreciated.

Another method is to use the attribute rel="external" and then use unobtrusive JavaScript to modify the behavior to mimic the target function. It might be overkill for most, but since we're advocating better practice here...

More info at http://www.sitepoint.com/article/standards-complia... and http://perishablepress.com/press/2007/11/20/open-e...
# Posted By seriocomic | 12/2/08 4:18 PM
Actually, saying the target attribute is depreciated is off base:
http://learningtheworld.eu/2007/xhtml-with-target/...
http://lachy.id.au/log/2008/04/target-attribute

But, if you really don't want to use the target attribute, I would not recommend using the javascript functions provided by:
http://www.sitepoint.com/article/standards-complia...
http://perishablepress.com/press/2007/11/20/open-e...

Because these functions will not work if you use a rel attribute microformat:
http://microformats.org/wiki/rel-faq

I'll write a better one tonight for those of you that care about microformats and use the xhtml 1.1 strict 1st edition or html 4.01 strict doctype, for which the target attribute is not valid.
# Posted By Erik Vold | 12/2/08 5:10 PM
# Posted By Erik Vold | 12/2/08 11:29 PM
Great correction Erik, I must admit my comment was written with XHTML 1.0 in mind (last time I tried a work-around for the target attribute) when it was floated that it 'be' depreciated.

I'm sure i'm not the only developer out there a little foggy about the target attribute, so it's nice to have the additional information.
# Posted By seriocomic | 12/3/08 1:50 AM
I am new in blogging... and dont know about the bounce rate yes... just learning it.. thanks for the post
# Posted By Suamiya | 12/13/08 2:23 AM
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