Is opening a link in a new window good or bad for SEO?

I’m wondering what the SEO guidance is for opening links in new windows? And I’m specifically wondering about internal links, since I’m pretty sure it’s accepted to allow external links to open in a new window. I have a comparison table, for example, that I think would be useful for the reader to view side-by-side with the article, but I’m nervous about how Google might view the link if I set it to open in a new window. Thoughts?

– Andrew M

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Alex Schenker
Hi Andrew,

My general advice for this is to do what you think is best for the reader. In your example, it sounds like it would be helpful to have your comparison table in a side-by-side tab next to your article, so opening your internal link in a new window should be fine. We do the same here on We Rock Your Web for our comparison tables, in fact.

As a rule of thumb, we open all external links in new windows, and all internal links in the same window. We then make exceptions for comparison tables and other scenarios where we feel it’s useful to the reader to have the window open in a new tab (so they don’t lose the page they’re on).

Hope this helps!