If you choose the "open in new tab" option while adding links to your content, does it affect your SEO?

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PKraenzel Premium
It depends on the niche you have. I have two sites. On the one website, people read the article or post and the affiliate links (product view) open into a new tap. I find affiliate links to open in a new tap better because visitors don't have to click the return button in order to go back to the post because some company pages would not allow it and then they are off and gone away from my article.

on my other site, I have the whole post and article open into a new tap because of the structure of the niche. However, it's easy for them to go back because I have all articles on the sitemap.

It all depends on the niche and the structure and setup. whatever you do make it easy to use and friendly.
BrightSales Premium
I would stick to open a new window. I think that if they open a new window, and they close the new window afterwards, they will see your original window staring them in the face. If they click on a link on your webpage without opening a new window, and they don't like what they see, they could easily close the window including your webpage altogether. All the best!
earlofpearl Premium
I choose my links to open in another window, in some cases the user don't come back when NOT opening in another window, it just put them on another site, and they would have to click the back arrow as to find back your site, I set some of my links to open in another window so users wouldn't loose my site.
Dale123 Premium
If it affects user experience, it affects SEO.

By setting the links to open in a new tab, you're forcing a user action. It's never good to force an action upon a user - it's best to leave it default & give them the control over how they want a link to open.

For example, I love to open all links in new tabs - so I right click & select "open in new tab"... But if I clicked one expecting it to open in the same window (as a link should) and it opened a new tab on its own, I would be annoyed as that's not the action I'd expect.

Years ago when I was started out in affiliate marketing I believed it was always best to open things in new tabs because you're "keeping the user on your site" - but that's a bad approach to take because that means you're thinking about what YOU want rather than what the visitor would want. Always put the visitor first, and that's how you'll find the greatest success.
Triblu Premium
Hey Dale,

Like you, I prefer to open links in another tab, but you can still right click a link even if it is set to open in a tab anyway, right?

It annoys me when I click on a link that IS an obvious external, and it takes me away from the page I was reading... and I am NOT a newbie.

Given that there are more newbies accessing the internet now, would it not be better for webmasters to have external links open in a new tab?

Am curious as I have read arguments both ways, and I tend to prefer to set my external links to open in a new tab, due to having more newbies visiting my websites.

Would love your opinion, seriously.
Dale123 Premium
Hi Trish,

You can certainly still right-click & open the link in a new tab as normal, but what you cannot do is open a link that's been defined in the page to open in a new tab, in the same window. That action has been taken away from the end user, so it affects the user experience as you've removed an action from them. In order to open the link in the same window, they've had to take the long way around (such as copying the destination & pasting it into their address bar)... Not good.

With regards to clicking an obviously external link & begin taken away from the page you're reading - it's at that moment, if you wish to keep the page uninterrupted, that you should right click & select open in a new tab.

Furthermore, opening links in a new tab can also pose a security risk through a Javascript exploit unless you also set the rel=”noopener” attribute on the link. A new tab can take control of the referring window without this attribute being set. Thankfully WP now does this on new links by default.

For best user experience, if you are indeed going to set links to open in a new tab, it is generally best to label them with (opens in a new tab) - as you might have seen on other websites. When a new tab is opened without warning to a newbie, they can often think their browser is being hijacked by a popup and close it before the page even loads, resulting in confusion.
Triblu Premium
Thank YOU Dale,

Had NO idea about the rel=”noopener” issue. Have been using it but did NOT know the VALUE... WOW! It's a wonder that browsers don't handle the target links better.

Gets pretty bad when the world MUST revolve around the nasty abusers, huh.

No... I've not seen that warning "(opens in a new tab)"... but I sure do like it, knowing what you've stated here.

Though ALL of my affiliate links I show "(my affiliate link)" right after the text link or below an image/video link, and these are ALWAYS set to open in a new tab.

Wow.... you certainly have added great info to this conversation.

Thanks again!

Wishing you a safe, healthy and HAPPY week ahead.

PS: this well-recognized site agrees with you: https://medium.com/sedeo/how-to-fix-target-blank-a-security-and-performance-issue-in-web-pages-2118eba1ce2f

Thought this valuable enough info to share here too.
Dale123 Premium
I'm glad you found my input helpful, Trish :)

And yep - it is indeed unfortunate that there are so many abusers out there. The link you shared made for a great read - thanks for sharing. Hope you have a great week ahead too :)
apache1 Premium
Creating the "open in new tab" allows the reader to retain the original post rather than lose it.

This way, if they choose to go back to the original post, it is still there for them to continue reading, especially if your link takes them to another website.

Otherwise, if you choose not to have the tick in the open new tab box, and just have the link it will take them directly to the new website and your website will be replaced by the new website.

Should they click out from the website you sent them to and want to check again something on yours they will then need to research to find your site again?

Unfortunately many won't bother to find you if they realized your website disappeared along the way and most readers won't bother to go the extra effort.

The other part for doing this is when you create your link to another post within your site (internal link).

This will help your SEO as you are retaining them longer on your site.

The other part of SEO if you link to an authoritative website as Jay would suggest E.G. Wikipedia it can add extra SEO as well.

Jay has quite a few Webinars relating to internal linking and SEO on this in the past.

If you go to Live Events and then click past at the top search box you can type SEO and also linking and you will find many of his webinars on this.

So I believe it is important to use. Just make sure you don't this for every image you may have on your post only when it adds value and user experience for your readers and not just for SEO or Search Engines

Wishing you well