Saw this on Pinterest (HTML Tips) and it reminded me that I’ve been intending to write about new standards and ‘fads’ on the Internet generally, and here specifically the opening of links (hyperlinks) in a new window.
Opening links to a new window was common practice. The intent was to maintain focus, or at least not lose focus, on your own website when you were being helpful and directing people to find information elsewhere. To in my mindset, and programming behaviour, that has not changed.
However, with the advent of vastly increased Internet usage and familiarity, changes to browser standards, and of course all the fabulous new technology with swipe screens, mobile devices, ad nauseam, the move has been toward opening everything in the same window. Using the same window is browser default action on a link so there is no need to take any action unless you want tot change that. This default assumes much more savvy users being smart enough to use the back button and/or Meta Key clicking (you know what those are right!?) to open a new tab or window. I agree absolutely that user are more savvy, but why would we not help them?
Unless you are linking inside your own site, say from one blog post to another, or a landing page to the ‘buy now’ page, give your users the best chance of sticking with your content by giving them another browser window or tab. Quick SEO Tip: Make sure you use the title tag on any link regardless of how it opens, so you can use your keywords in another place.
And just so I can prove that I’m absolutely fair and balanced here is a completely opposite opinion from Chris Coyier
My final comments – it’s all about audience – YOUR audience.
Go for it – J