Wednesday, March 11

Are You Anchored Properly?

If ultra-high-energy collisions of particles i...Image via Wikipedia

Is your SEO drifting away from you - have you forgotten your anchor?

Sorry - couldn't resist that! But I have come across a number of people who seem a bit confused about the phrase "anchor text". See what I did there? Click on the words "anchor text" and you'll be taken to a proper Wikipedia explanation. The combination of text and weblink is known as "HyperText", as in HTML. The text bit is the visible word or phrase that you decide to use, and the part behind the scenes is the Hyperlink, which can go to any page or site that you want.

It's very easy to use in most blog editors - you'll normally see an icon like a chain (as in chain link), or sometimes a globe (to represent the World Wide Web). Then it's usually a case of highlighting the words you want to use with your mouse, and click on the icon. This will then pop up a little window or dialogue box asking you for the link you want to use - you can type it in, but I nearly always copy and paste from the address bar at the top of the browser (I normally work with a lot of tabs open in Firefox!).

It's a good idea to Preview your blog post and actually click on the links to make sure they're going where you want them to!

As a little bit of history, as well as a demonstration:

from: The invention of hypertext

"Vannevar Bush makes another appearance in this w/u with his 1945 Atlantic Monthly article titled As We May Think. This article discusses how computers might be used to assist humans in the processing of information. It describes a device that Bush calls a Memex which organizes information using the hypertext mechanisms which are familiar to anyone who uses the World Wide Web today.

Hypertext's invention in 1945 is arguably not a "major milestone" as hypertext would have to wait for the creation of the World Wide Web almost fifty years later to become in any sense relevant. It's included in this writeup more as an example of how old some of our "new" ideas really are. It's also a rather striking example of how a truly fundamental idea is pretty much irrelevant until the technology required to implement it actually exists. "

from: The World Wide Web: A very short personal history:

"....and in 1989, while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, I proposed that a global hypertext space be created in which any network-accessible information could be refered to by a single "Universal Document Identifier". Given the go-ahead to experiment by my boss, Mike Sendall, I wrote in 1990 a program called "WorldWideWeb", a point and click hypertext editor which ran on the "NeXT" machine. This, together with the first Web server, I released to the High Energy Physics community at first, and to the hypertext and NeXT communities in the summer of 1991. Also available was a "line mode" browser by student Nicola Pellow, which could be run on almost any computer. The specifications of UDIs (now URIs), HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) published on the first server in order to promote wide adoption and discussion."

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