Do people actually click hyperlinks in articles?
Over the past several Google algorithm changes and the ever-shifting expectations of internet marketing, hyperlinks seem to be taking on more and more importance. Now, I understand how the search engine uses hyperlinks to, in some ways, determine the potential quality of the page. It's also a great way to cite sources right on the spot. The burning question is -- does anyone actually click them?
I can't help but think about past advertisers such as Kontera that worked off of in-text ads -- and the results, well...sucked, for lack of a better word. Sure, those automatic ads are annoying and not always especially relevant, but they also didn't seem to attract clicks very well. Is it the same story if it's additional information to add to an article, or a link to a product page that's related to the subject of the article? In my experience, in-text links get clicked on every once in a while, but I can't help but wonder if it's accidental in some cases. Articles that are linked in popular articles don't seem to attract significant clicks unless they're specifically referred to, i.e. quoted and then, "Read the whole thing here." Maybe we're just too used to seeing them, or happy enough to do a separate search for supporting information.
One person's experience doesn't count for much, so hopefully a few other content curators or site owners will chime in here, but so far links do seem to be more about building authority than actually adding to a reader's experience.
Photo credit: Jahoe on Wikimedia Commons, originally posted here .