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Posted
12 September 2007 @ 9am

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Internal/Double Linking is a Bad Practice

Update: see Nick’s comment below. It turns out, Gawker Media has made a change. Internal links are no longer underlined – you won’t notice it in your RSS reader, though.

Update 2: Ryan Block of Engadget also added some of his own thoughts.

 

(Via Scobelizer) Louis Gray today wrote about the annoying practice of big blogs to rather link to their archives than out to other sites. I wrote about this a few weeks back, because it annoyed the hell out of me then, and still does.

Here is what Louis has to say:

In real-world journalism, a reporter impartially offers up the news, as well as balanced commentary from individuals involved, whether they be the subject of a story, witness, or interested party. All efforts are taken to introduce the reader to the source of the information. On the Web, a story on Apple’s iPod would link to the Apple Web site or directly to the iPod page. But if you look at Engadget, a hyperlink you would expect to take you to Apple would instead either take you to a previous story about Apple, or to search results within Engadget on the term Apple.

When I wrote about this same topic a while ago, I got a private email about it from Nick Denton (because I mostly pointed out the problem on Gawker blogs, yet it is rampant everywhere). I won’t reprint the emails here, but in essence, Nick said that they could maybe signal that a link is a ‘background info’ link and not a news link. I think that would be one way of handling this. Nothing like this has been implemented yet, though.

If I see a link to AOL, I want it to take me to AOL, not to an archive of Engadget’s/Lifehacker’s/Gizmodo’s stories about AOL. Is that too much to ask? I know it gives you more pageviews, but does it give you more satisfied readers?

Anyway, I am glad others are picking up on this, as it is annoying the heck out of me and keeps me from enjoying some of the best blogs out there.

p.s. and TechCrunch is now doing the same thing, too, by the way. Check out all the links to take you to their CrunchBase… do you have to do that Mike?