Msg#: 4029292 posted 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.
Msg#: 4029292 posted 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.
Msg#: 4029292 posted 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.