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Why is Google's default to open result links in a new window/ tab?  (View post)

lovin4nuttin [PersonRank 0]

Saturday, September 25, 2010
6 years ago24,273 views

Because I feel google can pretty much do what they want, but the real question is what if there was no google, then what?

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Eh the Google results never openend in a new tab so far I know, only when activated from the preferences.

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here]websonic: right

another option are the browser settings.

ahab [PersonRank 5]

6 years ago #

Check your Google Search preferences (google.com/preferences).

Did you tick:
  
   Results Window
[ ] Open search results in a new browser window.

On a related note: Why a check box for this option and why multiple choice for the Google Instant setting?
Google engineers never seem to be able to use standards when it comes to creating interfaces. At some places they use buttons for menus, or links like buttons, and that in a company that puts such interest in detail (like Marissa Mayer's famous right shade of blue).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

When I open Google Chrome, clear all browsing data for all time, then go to google.com, then click on a link, it will open in a new tab. Is this something that only happens because I'm in China then?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Ahab, I know about the search preferences, but this setting seems to get "lost" every once in a while – i.e. I have to set it again (unlike some of my other account details, which get saved permanently).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

PS: Using a US proxy I can see the google.com links will NOT open in a new tab/ window. Google must be doing this because I'm in China then? I added an update.

Somebody Else [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

I don't know if it's related to China, but I've never seen the opened-in-a-new-tab behavior, definitely not as a default. Can you try a different browser? Maybe it's some plug-in or extension you're using?

Anyway, the blog post should probably be corrected...!

DPic [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

<<PS: Using a US proxy I can see the google.com links will NOT open in a new tab/ window. Google must be doing this because I'm in China then? I added an update.>>

May deserve an update to the post =]

DPic [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Oh, looks like you were adding that just as i posted it =]

Andrew Davies [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

Makes sense. This is normal behavior for Chinese users. (They like to keep opening new tabs – at least that's what I've observed.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Andrew, I guess the question is if it's also normal behavior for Chinese users to switch from Google Hong Kong Chinese to Google.com in English, which is what I do, and I *still* get this new-window behavior. Might still be the case there's a majority who do that in China and still want new-window behavior, but just saying that that's the segment of users you'd need to look at, as Google is doing this on google.com too, not just Google Hong Kong.

Oh, how I sometimes wish there was no geolocation used on the web. And not just because of all the "this content is not available in your location" messages (though because of those too).

DPic [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

I wonder if there are still more that go to Google.com in english that still prefer the predominant way of opening new tabs in China

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

I've heard a few times that having content open in new tabs/windows is generally accepted throughout Asia.

Of course the companies love it, because in effect they are leaving their site in a "pop-under", to be exposed later when the user might otherwise have moved on to other sites and forgotten about the original one.

Uninvited opening of new browser windows was Jacob Nielsen's number two web design error (of 1999!):
useit.com/alertbox/990530.html

Many times, Nielsen has demonstrated that users have no problem using the back button if the actually _want_ to return to an earlier website.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

I think the majority of the users select this from browser's settings, not from Google's preferences.

ahab [PersonRank 5]

6 years ago #

Philipp,
If you look at the cookie for google.com (not www.google.com) called PREF you will see that the part :NW=1: is set when the Google Search preference "Open search results in a new browser window." is ticked.

Do you observe this change too – but then without you actually setting the option – when you visit google.com from china?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Ahab, when I clear everything in Chrome, then enter google.com, I'm first auto-forwarded to Google Hong Kong (along with a Chrome message to translate the page from Chinese to English... perhaps ironic, considering I entered Google.com in the first place and have my browser preferred language set to English, but it was Google who send me to the Chinese language version :)). From there I click to "google.com in English" in the footer, which brings me to a google.com that's not quite the same as from the US ... for instance, there are no instant results while typing, and there is a link back to Google China at the bottom. Looking at my cookies I now have four, two from google.com and two from google.com.hk. The google.com PREF cookie says NW=1, yeah.

ahab [PersonRank 5]

6 years ago #

"The google.com PREF cookie says NW=1, yeah."
So one could conclude that being in China changes your preference – without your consent... (Would this be some Google irony?)

lenzai [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

I guess Roger Browne got the right answer. And I agree about the acceptance for multiple window in asia.
But for the pop under, in this case, it does not bring any cash to Google. Maybe they just try to stay close to search experience on other chinese search engines.

Anyway,it would be interesting to get an official quote from Google.

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