Having experimented with various ways of linking out, it looks like the BBC may finally be using good old hyperlinks to send readers to external websites.
This was spotted by techchuff, via Twitter, which remarks that the ‘Google juice is being sprayed like champagne at an F1 podium’, and indeed, the links appear to be passing on PageRank, which hasn’t always been the case with the BBC.
Evidence of this can be seen on this article on bloggers debating UK healthcare, I count 13 links in total to external websites.
That said, having clicked on quite a few other articles on the site, I can’t find any more evidence of hyperlinks in news articles, so perhaps this doesn’t signal a change of policy.
BBC.co.uk has been looking at the issue of external links for some time, and came in for criticism from the BBC Trust Review last year for its miserly external linking.
It also experimented with in-text links in the body of its articles, most of which didn’t actually lead users to an external website, but opened pop-up windows instead.
These pop-up previews have not been seen since, so this could mean that the BBC has chosen the much simpler option of using hyperlinks like everyone else. If so, many will welcome the move, especially if they can get some valuable link juice from the BBC.