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I had a client recently express his feelings about not having a 'home' link or a 'home' button on a website. I told him I would consult someone who knows, but I've never personally heard anything about this on whether they a penalizing for 'home' links and/or buttons.

Can anyone give a me a hard answer on this.

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Did your client offer any rationale or evidence for his opinion? If not, I see no reason to give it any more credence than some entirely arbitrary assertion, like green links pass 0.067% more PageRank on Tuesdays and Fridays. Obviously the existence of a link path from any page in a site to the root isn't an issue, so the only possible basis is that search engines are penalising the word "home" when used as anchor text, which wouldn't make a great deal of sense. A "hard answer" to this might be impossible, but so it is for green links on Tuesdays ;) –  GDav Oct 10 '12 at 21:20
    
No rationale. I was imagining it was just as absurd as you had thought as well. –  Andrew Allen West Oct 10 '12 at 21:41
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3 Answers

up vote -2 down vote accepted

Penalized due to home page is not a big deal. You should check your errors and contents because Google penalize on that basis.

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-1 This does not appear to answer the question? (But it is accepted??!) –  w3d Nov 26 '12 at 9:34
    
I think we have to leave it as it is, as it's not really bad. meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/78438/… –  paulmorriss Nov 26 '12 at 10:09
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The only way I could see this being an issue is if you're using canonically-different links to get to the same page. If you have one link that goes to "/", and another that goes to "/default" or "/index.htm" or whatever your homepage happens to be. When Google's spider crawls the site, it will try each link, and start to discard duplicate-content at the end of links, so you can end up with some SEO fragmentation.

http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/canonicalization

But if all your home-links point to the same URL, that shouldn't be an issue.

A lot of FUD gets thrown around in the SEO-sphere. As initall said, "Home" might be a waste of a keyword, but the most important aspect in SEO is content, so try to direct your client's attention to building their authority through solid content that draws a lot of people to link to them organically, and that will serve them far more in the long run than debating the potential impact of a "home" link.

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The only bad thing about it is that naming it "Home" is a wasted opportunity for a good keyword. And as it's so common you're in greater competition (like the old joke with googling for "here" which resulted for years in #1 for Adobe Reader as everyone linked "to open this document you need the ... which you can download here), hm, but noone would search for it anyway.

It's also just another name of n-names within your navigation bar(s). So all other links would have to be penalized either. Nonsense.

There are sites where "Home" is not really obvious. It's where you land when you enter the pure domain. You could be redirected (forwarded) to another URI, because a certain "page" was configured in the Content Management System to be the "homepage". Additionally almost all sites link defacto the Brand or Logo to the homepage, most often "/".

So obviously you don't need something explicitly called "Home" but it does not hurt either.

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I'm inclined to think that, in a majority of cases, calling the link anything but home would be confusing for a lot of users, and since Google always purports to put users first, etc. etc. As you say, though, the convention of linking the logo skirts the entire "problem". –  GDav Oct 11 '12 at 7:52
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Just look for the Home button on Amazon or Ebay :-) –  initall Oct 11 '12 at 8:25
    
I agree, naming the home button "home" it's a wasted opportunity. –  milo5b Oct 11 '12 at 10:15
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@initall Or this site... I realise many don't use it, I'm just suggesting that a search engine that penalises links using the word "home" would put an unreasonable restriction on site owners. –  GDav Oct 11 '12 at 11:36
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I meant for the target page i.e. linking "keyword" to page A does not make page A rank a lot higher. It does help SEO a little but Google reduced its effectiveness years ago (search "miserable failure"). All in all, yes linking to your home page with a keyword might give you a tiny boost, but IMO not worth sacrificing usability. –  DisgruntledGoat Oct 17 '12 at 15:46
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