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Linking Pages Back To Your Home Page

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12 replies to this topic

#1 jerry


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Posted 30 July 2003 - 08:18 PM

When linking back to the HOME page from all of your other pages most people have a button and call it "HOME." Since Google considers words in the link very important, wouldn't it be better to link pages back to the home page with words like :stout: "Widget Home Page"?


#2 markymark


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Posted 30 July 2003 - 08:22 PM

Well, yes, it would be better. If I have only a graphic button going back to the home page, "widgets home page" is exactly the type of thing I put in the alt. tag.

#3 Jill


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Posted 30 July 2003 - 10:33 PM

Absolutely, Jerry! That's a common technique that most people overlook or don't know about. Gives you a nice edge over those who haven't thought about it much.



#4 ranch


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:17 AM

First of all 1000000 thanks to Jill for her high quality newsletter. And now this new forum. Super! (This being my first posting I guess a little 'sweettalk' is ok).

Now for my comments/questions:

Can't you overdo linking to a certain page (e.g. Home) using the same KWP (KeyWord Phrase)? If you have a site of say 100 pages what will Google think if you use the same KWP on each and every page? I realize that you can't get to many external links using a certain KWP, but what about the internal ones?

If your Home-page is optimized for 2-3 KWPs then wouldn't it be better to use one KWP here, another KWP there and so on? Or should you stick to your primary KWP on all pages?

You you have regular <A HREF... links, should you then use a KWP in the title-tag as well or just in the linktext? E.g. <A HREF="url" TITLE="KWP2">KWP1</A> or just <A HREF="url">KWP1</A>?

As you see I'm very anxious about overstuffing with KWPs.

I have a multilingual (10+) site. The homepage is in english. Is it ok to link to my homepage from say a spanish subpage using as the linktext the english KWP of the homepage? Or will the searchengines (Google) detect a language mismatch and punish the site?

Lots of questions - hoping for some answers! Thank you in advance.

#5 Mel


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:59 AM

HI Ranch;

Lets talk about the optimization of your home page for a minute. You should be trying to optimize that page for one to three of your strongest keyphrases.

From a users perspective if the homepage is about blue widgets and the link text or button says "blue widgets home page" that not only gives the user a link to the home page but an idea of what he will find there.

From a search engines perspective if you have a home page about blue widgets, optimize that page for blue widgets, but have a variety of anchor text (or graphic with alts) links to that page and they target a variety of terms, it is not going to help your rankings at all.

IMO links to the home page should offer some insight to both the user and the search engines as to what that page is about.

Same thing with multiligual links, if the user prefers Spanish and you give him links in English he may not follow them.

My rule of thumb - consider users first, search engines second.

#6 dragonlady7


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:34 AM

I suppose it couldn't hurt to say "blue widgets home page" in your navigation for another reason-- given that your different sub-pages may be optimized for different keyphrases, a visitor who finds you through the search engines for a sub-page's specific keyphrase will land on that sub-page, and may be a bit confused about what your site's really about. So if they see that your "home" page is about "blue widgets", then they'll be a bit more enlightened and know what to make of it all.
i should think about this, because my company makes software for nursing homes, and a lot of people come in searching for information about specific aspects of elder care-- specific technical phrases they probably heard when trying to get grandma into a nursing home. They find our page and it's all about some module for determining that keyphrase, and are confused. So it wouldn't hurt to have my "home" link explain what the site was about somehow.
Just trying to think of a succinct way of doing so...

#7 CLBridges


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:04 AM

I think if your site navigation is setup correctly and your home page doesn't have links to what I refer to as "exclusive pages" (meaning pages that are not linked to from anywhere else on your website) then the answer should be NO from the visitors standpoint anyway. (Oh, so many lovely ways to use it in SEO!)

But notice I said should..

The answer to this is always going to be YES. For a couple of reasons:

1) Because people EXPECT to see it. Even if your navigation is setup to where all information is easily accesible within 2-3 clicks, if they can't find what they're specifically looking for, they'll head for the home page thinking they might be able to find it from there.

Which brings me to:

2) Depending on your target audience, a percentage of them are going to be (sorry if this sounds a bit harsh) computer illiterate, lazy, stupid or a combination of all three (to varying degrees) Exactly what percentage of your visitors fall into this category depends (like I said) on who they are as well as how they got there and what they expect to find.

Hmmm... I'm not being harsh.. just realistic. I'll try to explain.

One of my clients is the headquarters for a West Coast youth sports organization (not mentioning any names) The site I created for them is very. and I mean VERY easy to navigate and self-explanatory. Yet they insist that I put a link on the home page to almost EVERYTHING! Why? Because almost all of their visitors fall into a combination of the 3 categories shown above. Example: If you tell everyone that last weeks tournament results for (CITY) and (AGE) will be posted on (DATE) and they visit your site on that day, you'd think that if they had a brain even the size of a pea they would click the "Tournaments" link? NOOOOOO (rolling my eyes now, heart pumping faster :) )

(Taking a deep breath and holding it for half an hour :D ) Ok.. I'm calm now.

(Exhale) So.. it all gets posted on the homepage so "they" can find it.

Sorry, got a little off the subject there.. I guess it can be considered a vote to have JUST a home page with links to every page and all of those pages link ONLY back to the home page?? :slap:


#8 Jill


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:11 AM

Welcome, Ranch! :) You can sweet talk all you like!

As to your questions, I know it may sound simplistic, but it really does always come down to whether or not what you're doing makes perfect sense to your real human visitors. If when you set up your linking and keyword phrases, etc., it looks exactly right for your site visitors, then it always, always, always will be fine with the search engines.

If, on the other hand, you set it up and you look at it and it's a confusing mess of keywords and strange languages and links that will make your users think you're nuts, then you will be opening yourself up for search engine trouble also.

It's true that the engines aren't as smart as humans, but at least with Google, they are really trying to figure out when people are doing things just for their benefit. They're definitely not there yet, and people can get away with a whole bunch of tricks if they so choose. But for long-term results, it's very easy if you just do what makes sense to real people.

Good luck! :D


#9 websage



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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:39 PM

Hello and thanks to Jill for providing the forum and the wonderful newsletter, and to all the moderators and members who provide valuable information.

I would like to add one more thing to the idea of linking to the home page.

From my experience, Google (at least) differentiates between URLs like http://site.com/, http://www.site.com/, and http://www.site.com/index.html.

Being consistent (as in any other aspect of web development) would be beneficial.

Having all your links going back to http://www.site.com/ rather than having some going back to http://www.site.com/index.html and others to http://site.com/ would be a good practice to follow.

In addition, nobody goes to a web browser's address bar and types the full path to a webpage; most people just type in the URL of the site up to the directory root. So, this is one more reason when linking to the home page to link specifically to the root of the site.

Anyone agree or disagree?

My 2 cents :-)

and thanks again,


#10 Jill


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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:45 PM

Welcome, Websage! :)

Definitely agree with what you're saying. omg


#11 qwerty


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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:47 PM

I absolutely agree, Mitko. In fact, if we can talk about backlinks as well, I'm in a bit of an odd situation. The page that sends more people to one of my sites than any other (on some days as many as 20% of my sessions come from there) specifically links to the absolute URL of my index page. I've asked them to switch it to just the domain name, but they haven't responded, and I definitely don't want to nag them and risk losing the link altogether.

#12 omahonydonnelly


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 05:15 PM

On one site I am now developing, I have been using the graphic header as a link to the home page and putting phrases targetted for the current page in the alt tag.

Should I be using phrases targetted for the home page instead?

Thanks for reminding me to use keyphrases in text links!

#13 Jill


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 05:31 PM

Yes, you should be using the phrases targeted to the home page.


Only if they make sense to the image at hand. And it shouldn't be a whole bunch of keyword phrases. Just a few words that describe the image and the page it's pointing to.


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