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Internal Links to Home page - how best to use them

12:14 am on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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A guest speaker recently mentioned at an SEO conference not to use the term " Home " for the home page link.

That's something that i've seen widely used , but have also heard it risks being a means to over optimization. So don't use keywords here.

What works best and are there any ranking benefits to be obtained out of this link.
4:34 pm on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I wouldn't sacrifice usability and convention for a "hoped for" SEO benefit when it comes to a "Home" link.

Best advice given in this topic. Home is universal language. Anything else may be construed as anchor text abuse which in this case it clearly is.

There are more subtle ways to approach this. For instance, using SOC (Source Ordered Content), your <header> may be first in source. This is where you have your logo image that is linked globally to your home page in most instances. So, it may look something like this...

<a title="Company Name and Tagline" href="http://example.com/">
<img src="/images/company-name.png" width="500" height="100" alt="Company Name" />

Note that there are 4 references above that you'll want to focus on. In some instances, we'll have a domain (1) that matches the targeted query. This is due to natural branding from company inception. None of those long and/or hyphenated keyword thingies. It may be short, possibly even a single keyword domain, oh the Nirvana!

Then you have the img path (2) which I strongly suggest be as succinct as all the other areas being focused on, name it appropriately. I also suggest that you use a larger image in this area, dimension wise. This is relative to image searches. I've found larger (dimensions) optimized (less bytes) images perform very well and I have solid proof of this. I'm sure many others do too. When they are linked, they perform extremely well. ;)

Next comes the alt attribute (3). It acts the same way as if there were anchor text, literally, and it all depends on the implementation. I think you can really screw this up if not done properly.

And finally you have the title attribute (4). This is strictly an advisory element. It is typically used in an img environment to provide advisory information about the image and/or about the destination link. It may also be used in textual environments where visible real estate is limited and you have to use short links that may require additional advisory information. You have approximately 5 seconds to advise, don't overdo it!

DON'T MESS with that HOME link, it serves a very important purpose for your visitors.

Note: There are certain sites that can get away with manipulating the HOME verbiage. Google is a prime example with Web. :)
12:03 am on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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" Would you go so far as to have 1000 different Home Links reading : "Widget Red " "Widget Blue" "Widget Green "

Does the content of your main page magically change 1000 times a second? This is obviously the opposite of what I said.
12:04 am on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"I asked you before and you didn't give an answer."

LOL, um, I answered twice.

"I would go with Ted, to me it just plainly looks like over optimization!"

This thread is an example of some of the most ridiculous webmaster FUD out there. If you have some spammy piece of garbage site that ranks well, touching it in any way may hurt its rankings.

On the other hand if you run a business, you have a brand to promote, and should want to rank for your brand. And you should build a website that follows the Google guidelines if you want to rank well in Google, and guess what, this is NOT in the Google webmaster guidelines:
"and for heaven's sake don't link to your company's main page with your company name."

The idea is utterly nonsensical FUD.

I guess it's also self-selecting as anyone who links to their Red Widgets main page from their Red Widgets corporate graphic with the alt text of "Home" s very likely to believe such silly FUD.

(And make no mistake about, the illogic of the FUD pushers requires a belief that you risk "over-optimization" by having descriptive accurate alt text on a graphic link instead of "Home".)
12:17 am on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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votes: 62

"Home" is the most widespread anchor choice across the web - by far - and I'm sure that this practice jumps out on any link graph that Google creates as an oddity.

Yeah, but that's only because WebmasterWorld uses it...
Take those away and it's cut in half or so... LOL.

Alright I'll answer seriously.

If it's already Home I would probably not change it, but might.

If it's not already home I would consider a keyword or two, but personally prefer to use the domain name, so here rather than Home, I would probably opt for 'Webmaster World' being the link to the home page...

I don't use keywords too often, but do really like to use the domain name, not so much for search engines, but for the branding you can get out of the deal. Again if I was using WebmasterWorld as an example, I would prefer people not go 'Home' but rather go to 'Webmaster World'.

IMO Sometimes too much concentration on Search Engines and rankings significantly detracts from some opportunities in other areas and if one was to have the correct domain name registered IMO they could get the best of both...

Personally, I would probably not link to the home page using 'Green Widgets', but if it was my 'widget sales overview page' and starting point for my widget sales website I would seriously consider 'Widget Sales' or 'Widget World' as the link to the starting point in the widget sale process, which also happens to be the home page, so, yes I guess to a fairly good extent I agree with NOT using home as the link text to the 'root page' of a website, much as I'm sure many 'purists' who don't think about the difference in someone repeatedly reading and possibly clicking 'Webmaster World' rather than 'Home' might have on branding or brand name recognition or marketing, will disagree.

What do you do every time you click a link? You read it.

Why would you want someone to repeatedly read and click 'Home' when you could brand your website?
Think about it for a minute or three some time...
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