Tutorial 26: The Care and Feeding of Hyperlinks, Part II - HTML with Style | 5
To a certain extent, the fear of many Web developers that users will follow a link and never returned is based on the fact that users are forgetful, and thus justified. Even if your site is perfectly good, a user might wander off into a link and forget he was reading your document in the first place.
The one thing I would condone in order to avoid this is inserting links such as the one to the bookstore I used above at the end of your documents. This basically means that you're re-categorizing informational links as navigational links.
This doesn't mean that you should just forget about links in your main text and just move everything to the bottom; it's simply a good idea to insert text such as "you can buy this book at CheapBooks" at the end of your document instead of the middle. This will keep your text focused and clear, and will give the reader plenty of options when he is done reading your document. Think of this practice as a "Further Reading" section in your documents. Ways of implementing this usefully will be discussed in the third and final part of this series.
However, the conviction remains that whenever you mention a resource that can be linked to, you should insert a link to it. This is exactly what the Web is about, and what makes it useful. In addition to helping your users, you're helping the way towards a truly semantic Web. A good example of the advantages of good linking is the Google search engine, which grades Web sites according to the pages they link to and the pages that link to them. Using links properly will help you get higher ranks on Google, as well as any other user agents that understand the semantics of links.
Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: October 04, 2000
Revised: October 4, 2000