Part of an SEO consultant’s job is to make people click to land on a page, so I understand quite clearly the following tools may screw our efforts because they make a surfer much smarter and selective as to which links to click. However I found the tools interesting enough to share because (apart from saving our own time when surfing) they introduce us to new browsing experience that we need to be aware of.
External Link Highlighter
The external link highlighter script works a bit differently from what you may expect from the name: instead of “highlighting” the external links, it adds the destination domain favicon to each of them. Thus, you may be really happy stumbling upon a familiar website icon that could work really encouraging to click through.
- Quickly differentiate external links;
- Quickly spot links from the sites you know (and trust).
Here’s how this looks like with the script installed (it seems quite neat and clutter-free to me):
I imagine, if this practice would become more popular, that would probably result in massive favicon stealing (how would you feel clicking a link that shows a well-known site favicon and landing on an absolutely different domain?)
Link Type Alert
The link alert addon display the link type on mouseover. The following link types are identified:
- New Window
- Secure Sites
- Email Links
- Word Documents
- Excel Spreadsheets
- PDF Files
- Zip Files
- Text Files
- AIM Links
Page Preview on Mouseover
Unlike the first two, “Cool Previews” FireFox addon actually removes any need to click-through. It displays the whole page preview for you to read its whole contents, scroll down and even clicked on-page links!
After installing, you will be invited to customize the settings:
This is where you can customize where and how you want to see the linked page preview:
For the sake of an experiment, I set the preview to pop-up on mouseover and here’s what I got on hovering over a link:
One of the most useful features of the tool is that it enables page preview right from Google SERPs.