The Hyperlink Delusion
A personal statement to upgrade the Web.
True connections on the web require extra effort.

Anyone who has experienced the Web is familiar with the behavior of the links.

If we imagine the Web as a vast ocean full of islands that represent webpages, the behavior of the links would be very similar to the operation of a catapult. We move around this imaginary world of islands of information, jumping from one to another, using catapults as one-way tickets to the next destination.

The browser gives us the option to point a catapult back to the island we visited previously [1], and we can pact with other islands to set catapults pointing each other to create a network that allows us to travel in both directions. But this scenario is not the norm, because the easiest-to-implement catapult design for the link [2] does not include two-way communication by default, meaning that if we want something that resembles the behavior of a bridge but using catapults, we need to put some extra energy to make it happen.

A real-world example to illustrate how this additional effort is required in the current paradigm of the Web can be found on the concept of a backlink, “a link on someone else’s website that sends the reader to your site” [3], and the billion-dollar industry created along with it [4].

“Ted Nelson claims credit for inventing the back button with regards to hypertext, as the Hypertext Editing System was the first system that contained one.”
Hypertext Editing System - Wikipedia
“In today’s web, web pages have unidirectional links - so document A links to document B, but not vice versa. Unidirectional links were a key factor in simplifying early web prototypes so that they could be feasibly implemented. However, this type of link limits the ability to trace back to related material. Bidirectional links connect two documents using a two-way link that can be followed from either document. Designs with bidirectional links, such as Ted Nelson’s project Xanadu, were too complex to successfully construct.” New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 2016, Introductory (p.240)
New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 2016, Introductory - June Jamrich Parsons - Google Libros
“A backlink is a link on someone else’s website that sends the reader to your site. […] Backlinks are a cornerstone of great search engine optimization (SEO). We’ll show you how to fix problems on your website, get quality backlinks, avoid bad ones, find relevant online directories, and strategize properly.”
What Are Backlinks? How To Get Backlinks - Mailchimp
“The United States would spend an estimated $72 billion in search engine optimization (SEO) services alone ($80B by 2020).”
SEO Industry Approaching $80 Billion But All You Want Is More Web Traffic