W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2007

Re: @ping attribute wiki page.

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 16:48:16 +0100
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070715154816.GE5621@stripey.com>

Patrick H. Lauke writes:

> Smylers wrote:
> > [Links with the href content being their final desitination] have
> > the use that a link to an already-visited URL can be rendered
> > differently, and thus influence a user's decision as to whether to
> > follow it.
> > 
> > I know of a well-known news website which briefly implemented server
> > redirection to monitor the effectiveness of various links on the
> > site.  This was soon abandoned because it messed up readers' ability
> > to distinguish visited and unvisited links.
> Unless I'm mistaken, that would have happened only if they were piping 
> all external links through a script and appended the actual destination 
> URL as a GET parameter.

These weren't for external links; they were for internal ones.

> With some very simple URL rewriting, you can make each link to an
> external site unique ... and keep the whole visited/unvisited thing
> working just fine.

The whole point was that different links to the same article had
_different_ redirects, so that the site could monitor their relative
effects.  That broke the unvisited thing because, say, a panel in
sidebar highlighting various recent articles would end up having
'unvisited' links to articles that readers had already read (by
following links from somewhere else, such as the homepage, or the RSS
feed, or ...).

Currently this site is doing without the tracking.  ping would enable
them to have some tracking.

Received on Sunday, 15 July 2007 15:47:30 UTC

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