I am just wondering whether it is so and when I should use target="_blank" and when not? I used to use target="_blank" for most of the links of my site and in few places on net, I found people talking about it increases bounce rate.

  • Is it true?

  • What should be actual strategy for using '_blank' target?

  • Question you should be asking yourself what benefits does _target gain, none as far as I know off and in fact its just window spam in my opinion. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


From Google Analytics perspective it makes no difference if you use _blank or not. Google Analytics will still see 2 pageviews in any case.

If the link goes away from your site then _blank could even reduce the Bounce Rate, but from a usability point of view not from a technical point of view.

_blank open a new window/tab instead of using the current one when navigating a link. People tend to use it on external links to avoid users leaving their sites. Another use case is for help articles on Web Apps, since the user don't necessarily want to exit the app to look up a help article. All in all there are no general guidelines to where to use it or not. This is up to you. As a user I personally think that too many _blank links are annoying.

  • 1
    Whilst it might not affect bounce rates, it'll affect my desire to revisit the site at a later date. I find sites that force _blank upon its viewers quite offensive; I'll be the judge of whether I want to spawn a new window or tab, not the page's designer. It's even worse when even a middleclick forcibly spawns a new window due to the designer catching the onpress with a JS call. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 16:35
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    What's the state of this issue 5y later? is it still true in 2019, do we still have this debate? Did people get used to blank_ or did usability win? I tried to find A/B testing about blank_ or not as anyone seems to have strong opinions but I can't find any data supporting them. Latest articles (after 2017) seems to all tell that we should not use blank_ (or at least use noopener attibute for security reasons), but many websites are still using blank_. So I'm surprised something as simple as that to A/B test was not a test subject. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 22:40

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