Using Link Targets To Your AdvantageDo you know what “link targets” are? I get this question from time to time. It has to do with where you want links to appear (once a visitor clicks on them.)

Whether you link to another page on your own site or to an external one, it is a neat way to “help” your visitors navigating through the Web, and to not lose them when linking to external sites.

Without further ado, here’s what link targets are and how you can use them to your advantage in your Internet business endeavors…

NOTE: You may see curly quotes below due to a certain setting in my WordPress installation. Make sure you always use plain quotes in coding. Using curly quotes in HTML often results in strange symbols in other people’s browsers.

target=”_parent” -and-


As an example…

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>Link text</a>

Is old school HTML and was developed for when you use frame sets on your page. It’s commonly used in HTML nowadays and tells the browser where exactly should that other content be displayed when someone clicks on the link.

In other words, when you use the target=”_blank” it’s going to open in a new browser window. Whereas when you use any other word (and not the underscore at the beginning,) like target=”new” it will target the browser window that has been “tagged” with the title “new”. This is not necessarily a new browser window though!

For instance, you have plenty of photos on your site. You show them as thumbnails on your pages. When someone clicks on them, you want the larger version of that thumbnail image to open in a new browser window.

Now, to avoid that your visitor has 50+ windows open just from browsing your site and looking at the countless images you offer, you can “tag” that new browser window specifically and individually. Meaning, if you want all those large images open in the same new browser window then use target=”photo”. Then all other large photos will appear in the window that you tagged with “photo”. (The word ‘photo’ is just an example; you can use any other word. Just make sure the target attribute is without the underscore at the beginning, in this particular case.)

On the other hand, in cases where you rather want a completely new browser window to open you shall use the target=”_blank” though. For example, you use affiliate links and want them to open in a completely new window, and you want that new window to open up right in front of your visitor’s eyes. That way, you won’t loose your visitor, leaving your Web site underneath the new window. (The target=”anything” may appear underneath the current window.)

By the way, when going through my Internet business blog, you’ll see that I often use target=”external”.

—Marcus Hochstadt

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7 Responses to Utilizing Link Targets To Your Advantage

  1. bloggernoob says:

    very informative. nice post man! learnin the link tricks is very important

  2. Hey thanks for that tip. I use the _blank target alot, and always specify it on my cj banners. the idea of setting a window like “photo” is really cool. Good stuff.

  3. Quality Tale says:

    Thanx for helpful information. I am also suffering from this question.

  4. Great article! I’ve been wondering how to set up links to open in different places. Thanks for the info!

  5. Maria says:

    Very useful post. I’m a major fan of the “_blank” target since I use that for any external link. My thing with that is perhaps they don’t want to leave my site yet and so this way, they don’t have to click the ‘back’ button.

    I know this wasn’t supposed to be about the images, but now there’s Slimbox, which I think is pretty awesome. There’s a good example of it here:

  6. You’re quite welcome, guys. Use it to your advantage! :-)

  7. Very useful tips indeed! thanks for sharing.

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