Is it an SEO best practice to open internal links in a new tab or window?
In my site settings, I use to open the internal site links in a new tab. Those links become a no-follow, I got an error on one site where I was running the audit that all my internal links are no-follow. So, is it not a good practice to open internal links in a new window/tab?
Are there any possible solutions to making them do-follow links?
opening a link from a contextual text in the same tab or windows will not make any difference by opening them in a new tab or window.
Better you make all your internal links dofollow and all external nofollow.
There are many reasons you might choose to do either. As a general rule for SEO, you should do what is best for the user or what would be expected for the user to have a consistent and good user experience. There is no ranking factor per-say on opening in a new tab or window, but there is one for user experience.
As a marketer, I would recommend opening external links in a new tab so when the user closes out that page, they are still on your site. For tracking, keeping your internal links within the same tab/window is ideal for tracking as mentioned above.
No-follow vs do-follow is tricky for external links, but internally, anything you want Google to see should be a follow link. There are a few rare cases (pay-walls, user-login areas, etc.) you may not want to follow an internal link, but won't hurt you much if you do and shouldn't be dwelled on. No-follow for external links as a general rule is sometimes recommended, however, there are actually a lot of benefits to following those external links. I only no-follow external links when the content may benefit a competitor (i.e. linking to a competitor's site).
Hope this helps!
When you are linking to another page on the same site, you should almost always open it in the same window. This allows you to track a visitor's movement around the site. This practice also helps with SEO because it increases important statistics like page-views and time on site and decreases bounce rates.
Opening in a new tab or window doesn't make a difference for your SEO strategy. You should always use do-follow internal links so your pages are passing link juice to each other.