Hijacking traffic: Read-Write Web

Posting a link that does not go to where a reasonable web surfer thinks it will go is annoying, tacky, and perhaps even dishonest.

Here’s what I’m talking about – a recent story at ReadWriteWeb:

In fact, in the first paragraph, there are no less than 7 links – and no less than 7 of them are to ReadWriteWeb itself. This is a childish attempt at boosting traffic and gaming Google, and it’s below the stature of a site like ReadWriteWeb.

I left a comment … we’ll see if it stays live.

Please fix:

When you have a name linked, a visitor’s assumption is that the link is to the site associated with that name. Example: Reddit, in the first paragraph.

When you instead hijack that expectation and take users to your own website’s tag page for Reddit, you’re losing credibility and goodwill in order to eek out one more pageview from your readers.

Uncool, unprofessional, and in the long-run, unprofitable.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Then you REALLY don’t need to be reading the New York Times. Or TUAW. Or…basically any advertising—based website anymore.

  • Nonsense.

    Advertising is advertising, and content is content. Separating the two is critical for web usability, and successfully doing so contributes to the success of web giants such as Google.

    Blending the two inevitably leads to lower reader/audience trust … which puts a media outlet/blog/newspaper at risk of losing reach.

  • I was saying that those other sites do the same thing.

    target=”_blank” has returned with abandon, as well.

  • I agree with you John. I think there’s a different standard of authenticity at work here that we should work hard to preserve. Your “please fix” comment was spot on.