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Internal Links - 'Home' or 'Anchor text'
cheesy snacks

 2:13 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi quick question - when creating new pages for my site should I link back to my homepage as 'home' or 'my keyword'.

Anyone know what google's stance is with this?



Receptional Andy

 3:06 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

The use of "home" is the de facto standard navigational device for users looking to visit the index page of a site, so I am not usually keen to omit it entirely. Over-use of keywords in internal navigation is also something commonly reported as causing problems.

I go somewhere in the middle - use the first anchor in the source to point to the homepage using the business/brand name (which may or may not be keyword friendly) and including a link using the word "home" to ensure usability.

cheesy snacks

 3:13 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could over use of anchor text linking back to homepage cause a slight google penalty?

Receptional Andy

 3:17 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I believe so, yes. It's a recurring theme for sites who suffer from what is often called the "over optimisation penalty". It's something that may not seem particularly natural to Google if done to excess.

The lowest risk approach is to avoid being pushy with internal anchors and ensure that external links pick up any shortfall.

cheesy snacks

 3:36 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a good quality PR5 7 yr old site but my rankings have slipped a little (nothing too bad..only 4-5 places) but no matter what I do I cant seem to get any higher.

I have put keywords in the anchor text on my article pages, so it could be this.

Its not a major penalty - what do you suggest - amend the anchor text to 'home' and resubmit my sitemap?

Also would it be a manual penalty or just part of the google algorithm?


Receptional Andy

 11:43 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you can afford to experiment a bit, then I would encourage you to do so.

Manual penalties are a rare breed, and indeed, algorithmic penalties are not that common either. What usually happens is that you do something that inadvertently decreases your perceived relevance, rather than increasing it. This can be the wrong combinations of words, the wrong anchor text - lots of factors, I'm afraid.

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