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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Has link to a non-HTTP protocol

Identifying links within your content that point to non-HTTP protocols indicates at least one hyperlink is directed to a target URL operating on a protocol other than HTTP (i.e. FTP).


Why is this important?

Employing non-HTTP protocol links can lead to inconsistent handling across different browsers. For instance, links utilizing the FTP protocol may prompt the user’s system to launch a separate FTP application, or may default back to the browser if such an application isn't available. This could result in varying user experiences, as the action taken will rely on the FTP client specified by the user.


What does the Optimization check?

This Optimization will become active for any page URL which features an outbound hyperlink to a protocol that is not HTTP.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

The Optimization will be set off by any URL that includes links such as:


Hyperlinks pointing to an IP address via FTP protocol;

<a href="ftp://user:[email protected]">FTP Link</a>


OR hyperlinks directing to a website using the FTP protocol;


OR hyperlinks connecting to a URL using the gopher protocol:

<a href="gopher://example.com/">Gopher Link</a> <a href="gopher://anotherexample.com/">Gopher Link</a>


OR hyperlinks linking to usenet groups:

<a href="news:comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html">Usenet Link</a>


Why is this Optimization marked 'Potential Issue'?

This Optimization is labeled a 'Potential Issue' to indicate that while it may not currently affect your site, it potentially could in the future and thus warrants review.


To mitigate future complications, it's recommended to examine all hyperlinks utilizing non-HTTP protocols. These could simply be errors, potentially leading to a breakdown in PageRank distribution to relevant pages. Even if such links are intentional, reconsidering these hyperlinks is advisable. As an example, when offering downloads that were once reachable through an FTP link, we advise configuring these downloads via an HTTP/HTTPS link instead, ensuring they remain under the site administrator's management.

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