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So, instead of naming a link to index page a "Home" and such, how about using a domain name or the most important keyword the homepage ranks for? The link anchor "Home" definitely doesn't strengthen any ranks SEO wise as it is not informative.

What is the best way of naming the sitewide link anchor of a home page?

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    Home has a long standing tradition that is well understood much like about, contact, and so on. There is a special understanding of this for search engines especially in light of the fact that these terms/buttons/links were used far before search engines even existed. I cannot think of a replacement, but you are sure welcome to change yours if you like. I wouldn't change mine. – closetnoc Aug 22 '14 at 23:07
  • @closetnoc Note that my question is of "best for SEO" kind. – CamSpy Aug 23 '14 at 8:13
  • I am sorry. That was in regard to SEO. It does not matter what you call it. If you want to change it, you can, but the long standing tradition is well understood and Google does make a few gyrations around their rules for home, about, and contact because these are special pages and undergo special scrutiny. You can call it my-very-special-page and it just wont matter- it will be your home page to Google. In bound links are what you need to worry about and not your navigational link to your home page. If there was an advantage to this, someone would have discovered it by now. – closetnoc Aug 23 '14 at 14:41
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In the past I had a small site to which the anchor text to the homepage (index page in your case) was a keyword, and not "home". It worked quite well in terms of ranking on Google. But in my case, the homepage was a long page with content, and it was one of the main pages of the site (small site).

I'm not sure how your homepage looks like. If the homepage just directs users to other pages, then you better try to use your keyword in question on an anchor that sends user to a specific content page, relevant to that specific keyword.

The best and default answer would be - use microformats of rel="home" inside the anchor tag , and use "home" as the anchor text. This makes navigation clearer for your users, and clear navigation is one of the signals of google for quality.

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  • it isn't clear, what did you do what worked well? Note that my question is of "best fir SEO" kind. – CamSpy Aug 23 '14 at 8:12
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As a sidenote, while on the subject of SEO and homepage links. Are you considering whether the address used to access your homepage is consistent? A lot of webmasters make the mistake of serving their homepage at example.com/ but linking to example.com/index.php from deeper pages. Googlebot will consider these 2 different pages and report duplicate content. Duplicate content reduces quality score. Always make your home button in your navigation link to /

Good Example (Consistent addresses on Home links):

<nav><a href="/">Home</a> | <a href="/FAQ">FAQ</a></nav>
<main>
    <p>As you may have read on the <a href="/">Homepage</a> I have nice hair</p>
</main>

Bad Example (Inconsistent addresses on Home link):

<nav><a href="/index.php">Home</a> | <a href="/FAQ">FAQ</a></nav>
<main>
    <p>As you may have read on the <a href="/">Homepage</a> I have nice hair</p>
</main>
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  • As far as I know, it is best to use absolute links, not relative. – CamSpy Aug 23 '14 at 7:54
  • @MartinJoiner Google very well understands that example.com/index.php , .html, .cgi, and so on are the same as example.com/. This has been the standard since before search engines existed. Do you have any citations of Google having trouble with this and counting it as duplicate pages to help us? I have never seen this as an issue. – closetnoc Aug 23 '14 at 15:01
  • @closetnoc It was Google Webmaster Tools that first made me aware of it. It was reporting a "Duplicate Meta Description" error on my site, the 2 pages it was considering as having identical content were '/' and '/index.php'. No screenshot available as errors are fixed. Do you have citation that Google "very well understands"? Fact is, web servers will always have the ability to deliver different content for the 2 pages. Therefore, it's safe to assume Google are not going to apply a rule that effectively says "Always assume '/', '/index.html', 'index.php' are the same". – Martin Joiner Sep 9 '14 at 9:40

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