It seems to me that people are misusing footnotes and links, which holds especially for writers on sspai. It is no surprise since the editors demand a pretty format. Owing to their strong advocacy, the readers, me included, are paying more attention to formatting.
One of the writers says, footnotes prevent misusing parentheses for indication of the unimportant. True, too many parentheses do not appear organized and clean at the first peak. However, compared with being put in footnotes, lying inside parentheses ensures texts to be read if readers do not devour articles with some fast reading skills. The problem is, some contents are not logically relevant to the context thus they showing up in the whole body break the logic consistency. A footnote keeps information and also the consistency. Yet an indication mark, usually a superscripted number, becomes a visual obstacle for some readers who tend to follow it, to read footnotes and to come back after that. To them, footnotes break continuity of reading as they have to jump between the main part and footnotes.
I myself belongs to such a type of readers. But I have to admit, one can never get rid of footnotes or links. Yet at least, I could try my best to reduce distraction of their markup. On the other hand, when reading texts on webs, one should focus on the main body of an article unless a term with internal or external references is of such significance that one cannot continue reading without understanding it.