Interesting piece here showing how much news site homepages are overloaded with links. Apparently we at Mirror Group have 94% of our homepage content linking somewhere else … much higher than say Guardian.co.uk at 62% and Dailymail.co.uk at 77% (although they all seem fairly high…)
There’s some commentary from Steve Evans on his blog saying it shows “a complete disregard for user experience”, which you can see the logic of. There’s far too much on any one of these sites (almost 2,000 words on the guardian.co.uk homepage, and 350 individual links) for someone to consume; it just (theoretically) keeps people in a loop of links, viewing barely relevant pages, and generating ad impressions.
… it does raise the question though of how else you would organise all the content a newspaper generates other than a mass of text and links. There’s very few other content vehicles such as a newspaper in the world, producing enough words to fill a small novel every day. Not linking to this content from the homepage would mean expecting users to funnel through a navigation system and find it themselves, in much the same way that users leaf through a newspaper from front to back … that is, exactly the way people don’t view online content. I’m just not sure how you could make it work.
Below is a nice ‘hmmm’ graphic accompanying the paidcontent article