The Pros and Cons of Hyperlinking
I would be truly impressed if you could find an online news article posted in the last 6 months that does not contain at least one hyperlink (seriously if you find one, please comment). But not everyone is of the opinion that they are actually worthwhile and useful. So here’s a little breakdown of the main + and -.
- PRO – You allow your readers to gain deeper knowledge about your topic without having to explain it all yourself. This means the experts or regular readers don’t have to drown in stuff they already know whilst the newbies don’t feel like fish out of water.
- CON – Linking to an external site means readers are directed away from your page and may not return if they are more enticed by a link or advert on the other page. BUT – I would personally recommend having the link ‘open in a new tab’ so that the reader can easily return to your site without having to wait for the page to reload. (Not everyone shares this opinion though.)
- PRO – You prove you know what you’re on about. Showing your sources of information offers transparency that exceeds the limitations of objectivity. You may also just simply wish to corroborate your evidence which will strengthen your plausibility.
- CON – Too many links can simply look messy and be a little distracting for the reader. Think about the aesthetics & imagine yourself as a reader – do you want to feel like you need to be clicking on links in every second sentence?
- PRO & CON – Hyperlinks can be used to increase SEO. This, in my opinion, is an advantage for a writer as you can cleverly link words and phrases to attract readers. However, this can be disadvantageous for a reader as many sites will only link words that increase SEO and hence avoid linking to things that may actually be useful.
I could go on, but I think the point is made clear. Personally, I think links are great when used in moderation and preferably when they can be opened in a new tab. But I am a novice at best, so please let me know your opinions. All help is very gratefully received!