Just to be clear, the automatic excerpts are not markdown, they are a plaintext representation of a post that uses commonly understood characters to replace formatting.
Markdown would be
regular text with [link](https://ghost.org). It’s similar, but not the same
The underlying problem here is that auto-excerpts have to be generated from the potentially complex HTML that is your post content, where some of it makes sense as an excerpt, and some doesn’t.
Auto-excerpts used to strip all HTML, so you wouldn’t have had the link present at all. Issue 5060 (posted above) represents an old idea we had for a more technically advanced feature to trim down HTML, but it didn’t really get any traction.
For now, we’ve opted for the simplest option available, instead of stripping all HTML, we use the already-present plaintext form of your post content, which at least includes the link.
Now you have different options and control:
- You can trust the auto-excerpt feature to at least be an accurate representation of the content you have. Where this doesn’t work, you can override with a custom excerpt
- If you don’t like this, you can switch to using the content helper directly instead of the excerpt helper, but then you have to make sure that the first X portion of your content is exactly what you want to appear
- Alternatively, you can manually implement logic to use the custom excerpt if available, and fall back to the content helper.
If none of this gives you what you want, you can post your idea for how you would like this to work (or vote on an existing idea) in the Ideas part of the forum.