Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Blogger users: if you don't hyperlink an URL it isn't linked on web browsers but *is* on mobile version

by @JoBrodie,

Occasionally I refer to a web address without linking it in the (now mistaken) belief that this doesn't give it any 'Google juice'. This is because by not hyperlinking (making it clickable) visitors can't click on it to go to that site, so there's no trail of clicks from my site to the site I'm mentioning and nothing for Google to index.

I do this for iffy websites that I don't want to link to but where I want to provide the information for people to be able to visit the site if they wish (they can copy and paste the address into a new browser tab).

However it doesn't work. When you're viewing this site on a mobile phone any unlinked address automatically appears as a clickable thing.

On a browser this looks like plain text - I have not hyperlinked this one, but I have hyperlinked all other links in this post.

but on a mobile version it would like

(if you're viewing this post on a mobile you'll see both hyperlinked, check on a desktop browser to see what I mean).

1. Mangle the URL in an obvious way so that the reader can see what to do to in order to visit the page, eg - click all you like, you'll go to the wrong place until you delete the word DELETE from the URL.
2. Use Do Not Link* to create a referring address which acts as a sort of protective wrapper so that Google, in indexing links on your site, indexes the referring link and not the real one.

*"Who uses donotlink?
Skeptics, bloggers, journalists and friends on social media use donotlink to link to scams, pseudoscience, misinformation, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, racist / sexist blog posts, etc. without improving the search engine position of the site they are discussing."

I should add that using Do Not Link doesn't actively harm the search engine position of the site, which is something that has been mis-claimed by Lynne McTaggart (editor of What Doctors Don't Tell You) in wondering if skeptics are trying to damage the magazine's Google reputation by using this style of linking. This is not what's actually happening, by linking in this way we're not benefitting the site, but it's not otherwise harmful.

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).