Two weeks ago over at Problogger, Darren Rowse asked his readers if external links in your blog should open in a new window. Today he announced his results and surprisingly the response was pretty close- 46% no to 54% yes.
Personally I think that all external links should be opened in new windows for two reasons- one from a blog owner’s POV, the other from an end user POV.
As someone who blogs, and designs blogs – I want people to stay on my website as long as possible. I want people to click through my pages, read my articles and use any resources I have available. I don’t want to drive my viewers, and potential returning traffic away by referring them out to another site via an article or link and chance them not returning because they get absorbed at the other site.
As someone who reads many, many blogs several times a day I hate it when links to external resources do NOT open in new windows. If I’m reading an article/post that references some other post or website and I click the link while reading (not after I am finished) and am navigated away from that post, chances are I won’t go back. Although, I tend to fix the “problem” manually. Instead of straight clicking the link and hoping that it opens in a new window (or in my case I have new windows set to open as new tabs in Firefox) I right click the link and choose “Open in New Tab”, which will then open for me in the background so I can finish reading the current page, and supplement it with the link I clicked when I finished.
So what do you think? Add to the discussion over at Problogger!