When I was working for I asked why we are not linking certain parts of the website. The answer I got was that we already experimented and it leads to dropping conversion, as users get distracted and drop out of the funnel.

My current manager links everything. In every document there are links to every other mentioned document. It is like an internal company wide web. At the beginning I was so annoyed by it. Especially when he asked me why something isn’t linked. I later realized it is a good habit and saves a lot of time wasted searching for the right document[1].

In my yesterday’s blog post[2], I didn’t link text to web pages I am referencing to not distract the reader. I put them at the end as footnotes.

I think important work emails should be treated the same. Linking too much in important communication distracts the readers and leads to less people getting the message. Also having too many links dilutes the value of links (if you have 20 links in a single email probably none of them will get clicked).

Unfortunately in big companies people optimize for being correct over being persuasive. This leads to overlinking. Persuasive communication requires less details. Correct communication is boring. Having a good balance is the key. And it is hard.

[1] Actually Google drive search is the only Google product where “Search” doesn’t work. You write the exact document name and it autocompletes something else.