Links that open a new window. Do they pass PageRank and Link Reputation?

Spiders are simple little animals and the theory that guides the way search engines are built admit of few special cases, so generally speaking, a link is a link is a link. Let’s consider some cases.

The most often question is what happens for the target="_blank" case. This is very common so it would have staggering consequences if it did not act as a "normal" link. Moreover, treating it differently is theoretically unsound, as linking into a new window is not conceptually different, in terms of citation considerations, than linking in the current window.

The question of the use of style classes and DOM ids also comes up. I am certain that these are simply ignored by all search spiders, but that is a subject for another day (why spiders are so dumb).

BTW, OptiLink and OptiSpider both treat all of these links the same. The only exception is the rel="nofollow" attribute (Google’s simplified approach to Dynamic Linking) which is optionally processed by both programs so that our computation of Link Reputation will follow what Google does.

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