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CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86574 12/06/04 08:22 AM
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CloCkWeRX Offline OP
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Hey all,
I was just reading things through on this forum - now that I've transcended forum based communication to the delightful experience of Wiki and a vision of the semantic web I've got a big favour to ask.

Can we try to stop using "this" as a keyword for linking? This, here, and other non-descriptive words are a bit bad for linking. IE, if you are linking to a document the link text fragment should make sense out of context, like come and see my futons with penguins .

Futons with Penguins is a fine title for a page, where as "this" is a bit vague. If I pulled all of the links on a page to use as a kind of directory, I'd love to be able to know what is what and where i can go without reading all this junk ascii :P

And hey, this isn't flamebait! Its just a polite ask to see if it could possibly happen!

Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86575 12/06/04 09:00 AM
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It's possible, but unlikely. Alot of people hate click here too but it's also a popular linking word.

Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86576 12/06/04 10:07 AM
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Most of the times, the description that certain links lack is already present in the thread, posted by the person who asked the question. For example:

- Help, where can I find foutons with penguins?

- You can find some here

It would make little difference (regarding Search results) if the reply was "- You can find foutons with penguins here.", since the phrase was already mentioned by the user who asked. But you have a point, descriptive links generally are a Good Thing.


/.timerQ 1 0 echo /.timerQ 1 0 $timer(Q).com
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86577 12/06/04 02:17 PM
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It is qwerty's point which would deter me from changing the way I link things in my posts. Sometimes I will do something like 'See the How To Install page'. Usually however, I prefer to see short links and occasionally a page title on it's own wouldn't look like it was linking to a help file. For example:

"Go to the Proxies help page."

"Go to the Proxies help page."

"For help with proxies go to this page."

For me, the problem with the first one is it looks almost like it's going to a definition of proxies whereas, although the page does contain a definition, it's more of a help reference. The second doesn't look good in my eyes because the link text is too long. But I do like the third example, and it again illustrates qwerty's point as it's clear what the page links to due to the "For help with proxies" part of the sentence.

Actually, whilst on the topic, something I dislike is when someone links to another thread by pasting the entire URL as some sort of separate paragraph! Like...go to this thread:

http://forums.mirc.com/showflat.php?Cat=...amp;amp;fpart=1

Yuck :tongue:

My 2 cents!

Regards,


Mentality/Chris
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86578 13/06/04 07:12 PM
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CloCkWeRX Offline OP
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Words next to links that are indicative of context aren't as good as words used to link with.
When scraping pages like this for information, most of the ascii padding around the links would be discarded.
Thus, links with title context are much better.
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/ will help explain the whys and wherefores.

Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86579 13/06/04 07:18 PM
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That website is referring to people building websites, I believe. This is just a forum and the links used here are more than adequate to help people posting threads, and others that may have found a thread by using the search feature.

On top of that, you, nor anyone else, can say that those type of links are better than what we might use, it's purely subjective.

Regards,


Mentality/Chris
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86580 16/06/04 06:42 PM
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Chris! Wake up! This is a forum on the World Wide Web. Those tips go for *all* published material using links - from HTML to RDF.

Its not subjective - if you put your eyes out in a freak fork accident, you'll thank me from your screenreader!

If you use a decent browser, like Opera, you will have access to a links tab: That information is basically all that a blind user/search engine can see - if its "here", "here", "click here" then it makes no sense out of context.

Search engines pay more attention to links - link titles give clues about what a document is. By doing this you are helping index relevant topics for robots, spiders, and other programs which read these pages - and providing pointers for keywords.

I hate using the search feature on these forms because, try as it might, its no google. Its fairly straightforward and works off of a simple query - google is far faster for searching these forums for relevant topics. If you optimise for google/search engines, you are benefitting the WorldWideWeb as a whole.

Google results for "here" on mIRC Forums

Google results for "COM Object" on mIRC Forums

Imagine if all of the "here" links were labelled better with a title - you'd jump to definitive posts after following only two links - or less. Instead, we have a bunch of plain text results for "Com Object" - so "Tutorial on working with Com objects" is listed with "I was haxxored by com objects plz help what do I do warez pron moviez" - the first result is going to be far more likely the 'more relevant' link; but gets the plain old billing with the warez/porn/hacked by link.

Last edited by CloCkWeRX; 16/06/04 06:50 PM.
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86581 16/06/04 07:16 PM
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Another example of leveraging the power of link titles to indicate relevance:
Nigritude Ultramarine

This is a search engine optimisation competition that is well along now, I've been paying attention since I first spotted it in a blog / slashdot.
Illustrates how the more relevant and similarly titled links you have to a page indicate its "worth".

Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86582 16/06/04 07:18 PM
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Well I feel that any important links have been listed somewhere on the site already and Google search already finds enough. And also (until now) I have heard no complaints about the Search feature.

Sorry, but I'm not going to treat every single post I make as if I'm designing a web page. The reason it is advised people put descriptive titles is for this kind of purpose, not verbose links in messages. Occasionally I will link with descriptive text, the majority of the time I use 'here' or 'this page' or 'this sticky thread'. So far, I have had no problems personally, the search feature always returns appropriate results for me.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other smile - neither of us are "wrong".

Regards,


Mentality/Chris
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86583 16/06/04 08:36 PM
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The title attribute of a link is far more likely to be an accurate description of the content of that link than the link text itself simply because links are almost always used within a context (at least on forums and other online chat mediums). So to build up a picture of the content of a webpage from links to it the emphasis should be placed on the title attribute and the sentence around which the link occurs, not merely the link itself. Therefore there is no need to unnecessarily make formal descriptions part of a link's text.


Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and stupid comments are intentional.
Re: CloCkWeRX has a favour to ask of the regulars #86584 18/06/04 02:58 AM
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Sadly this forum doesn't fill out the title attribute for links (unless I'm mistaken).
Links are used within a context, but it doesn't mean they can't take advantage of the English language and make sense out of context also.

If we had this sort of thing, and the forum design was altered to have the search being more prominent, I think we'd see at least a small reduction in bloat posts we've already answered for the Nth time.

Plus we might see some ever-growing threads that act as comprehensive FAQs - instead of twelve various threads all named "here" we could have one or two topic related threads - acting as link indexes, mini forums, and informative discussion all at once.

For the doubters and the nay-sayers; I urge you to give wiki a go - it will suddenly make a lot more sense to title things appropriately!

See WikiWikiWeb