I was poking around a shopping web site this morning for a project I’m working on. What I was looking for was a few quick links for some store items to include in a post.
Unfortunately after I searched for each item, the URL in the address bar ended in a nondescript “search.html”.
The site was using some kind of behind the scenes scripting to produce their results rather than just taking you to the page with the goods.
I found a work around, though. I put the items into a wish list, then emailed it to myself. There in the email were some pretty links with URL’s direct to the items.
Why Make Linking So Hard?
I’m not a super genius or anything. But I’m thinking that one of the things any of us want with our business web sites, whether they are blogs or traditional static sites, is for people to give us inbound links.
We’ll get more links if we make it easy. One way to do that is to make sure that the part of the web site we want to link to has a visible URL in the address bar.
It is always frustrating when I see something I want to tell someone about by shooting them a quick email with a link and can’t.
Too often what I want to link to is in a flash web site or some other scripted deal like the shopping site this morning and I’ll have to pass a long a whole set of instructions for the person on the other end of the email to get them to the interesting stuff.
Click on this button. Then when the next page loads scroll down and look here. Click on the part that says blah, blah, blah.
Depending on how hard it is to explain, I may not bother.
I don’t even like web sites that have a “Permalink” button rather than just displaying the URL straight into the address bar. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve copied the wrong link from the address bar for something rather than getting it from the permalink link.
If we want to encourage traffic to our business web sites (and blogs) we should make it as easy as possible for folks to link.
Use scripts and flash code responsibly!