Target Equals Blank Or No

Browsing around the web, I came across a post on which discusses a topic that I have been wondering about for quite some time. That is, Should links open in a new window or not? The question is an interesting one and after tallying up the totals, Problogger discovered that about %54 of their commentary preferred links to open in new windows versus the %46 that believes users should be able to decide as to what sort of behavior the link performs.

Over the years, I have been trained to always implement the target=”blank” component of a link as it allowed browsers to visit that page without having to leave my own. I generally don’t use the target statement if the link is for something within the same site. After reading that post and the associated commentary, I am beginning to rethink my linking strategy.

Considering IE 7, Opera and Firefox, not sure about Safari all support tabbed browsing, I would have to think that surfers are using tabs more than they are using new/seperate windows. So if I were to place the target attribute into a link, chances are, that link will open up in a new tab vs a new window but I don’t have any stats to back this statement up, it’s only my opinion.

Because of the advent of tabs, I think I will still maintain my linking strategy. If the link is for something within the site, it shouldn’t open in a new tab or new window. However, if the link is to some place other than my own site, I am going to force that link to open in a new window/tab.

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