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Rel="ext"


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10 replies to this topic

#1 tcolling

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

Hi -

We have a link to our site from an authoritative site that is NOT a nofollow link, but which does have a tag that says rel="ext".

I don't know much about that tag. From what I have read, it just marks the target page as being external to the site that the link is on. It doesn't seems like that would have any effect upon our site's search results. Am I correct in thinking that way?

Thanks,
Tim

#2 Jill

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:33 PM

I don't believe it's an official attribute. It should just be ignored. I wouldn't worry about it.

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

A lot of sites use "rel='external'" or some variation now. I have no idea of why, unless it's for internal tracking. Hasn't had any impact on search results that I can see.

#4 cfreek

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

It's possible it's only for Google Analytics event tracking. Adding a rel="external" attribute makes it an easy task to track all outbound link clicks on a site as an event.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

It's probably associated with a script, as cfreek suggests. I use rel="external" on my site, and for a very silly reason: as you all probably know, if you want a link to open in a new window or tab, you use target="_blank" in the tag. However, if you want your page to use 100% W3C approved valid code, you can't use the target attribute, as it's deprecated.

To get around that, you can run a JavaScript that goes through all of the page's anchors when it loads, looking for that rel="external" bit, and if it finds it, it should set the link's target to _blank.

It works, but there's really no good reason to do it. I really ought to just strip that code out.

#6 Mikl

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:35 AM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Feb 24 2012, 04:25 PM) View Post
... you can't use the target attribute, as it's deprecated


Ah, that explains why I get validation errors when I use that attribute.

I wonder, is there an alternative to target = "_blank" that isn't deprecated and which doesn't rely on Javascript?


#7 chrishirst

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:54 AM

The target attribute of anchor elements is ONLY deprecated when a XHTML Doctype is used, UNLESS it is a frameset DTD, and if you are NOT using XML/XSL/XSLT in your document HTML 4.01 is STILL the recommended specification for HTML documents.



#8 Jill

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:47 AM

But is rel=ext the same as rel=external?

The original post was asking about rel=ext which doesn't seem to exist.

#9 qwerty

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:24 PM

For what I use it to do, you can call it anything you want. Just write the script to look for a rel with that name. Here's the script I use:
CODE
function externalLinks() {
if (!document.getElementsByTagName) return;
var anchors = document.getElementsByTagName("a");
for (var i=0; i<anchors.length; i++) {
   var anchor = anchors[i];
   if (anchor.getAttribute("href") &&
       anchor.getAttribute("rel") == "external")
     anchor.target = "_blank";
}
}
window.onload = externalLinks;

But you can change the line anchor.getAttribute("rel") == "external") to anchor.getAttribute("rel") == "lederhosen") if you want, as long as you then add rel="lederhosen" to your links.

#10 tcolling

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

Thank you everyone for your prompt and thoughtful replies. I appreciate your help!

The tag I asked about was indeed "ext", not "external", but I have noticed a few citations on the web about the "ext" tag, so perhaps it's an alternate for "external".

Anyway, thanks again to everyone. I think I won't be concerned about it.

- Tim

#11 chrishirst

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:11 AM

Neither rel="ext" or rel="external" values actually exist in any specifications. They have both been invented by somebody for their own use (or as in this case an imaginary use)

The related attribute has only ONE "official" value that visual user agents (browsers) should observe and obey, and that is the value of "stylesheet" when used in a link element.
Beyond that, neither the related or the reference attributes have specific uses, and are free for whatever use third parties put them to.

And to be honest, if the search engine engineers had not developed rel="nofollow" for their own purpose, the vast majority of SEO "experts" probably wouldn't even know that such attributes exist!




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