seoskunk - 7:37 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)
Can these sitewide links hurt
Hurt is not the right word. But I do believe they count as navigation links and determine the overall theme of the site. I recently did a site with HTML5 markup and its interesting to note that semantically the page is segmented with navigation clearly marked as a element. This is where we are heading and yes it would be possible to weight links according to there element in HTML5 so I wouldn't be surprised to see grouped navigation in HTML4 from Google.
However I reiterate "hurt" is the wrong word.