When home page links go bad!

Ever visited a site, especially a real estate site and at the bottom of the page you see this…

bad homepage content

I don’t have a gripe about any of these sites in particular, I even like one of them alot 🙂 but when you have a clutter of icons on the front page it starts to reduce your professionalism. Always consider what the human visitor will think.

It’s hard, when you’re trying to build up links to walk away from a seemingly great site just because you don’t want to give a homepage link. Why, you have to wonder, don’t these sites take a leaf out of the blogging communities book and request links that end up looking like this:

slightly better homepage content

These can be tucked away to one side, humans still see them, bots still see them and they look professional.

Why they are bad SEO

When you link to a site you are using your own PR to give the link some weight. So if you have a high ranking page you pass alot of credibility, if you have low PR then you pass less or none. If your homepage has PR4 and your links page has PR2 then it’s natural that other sites are going to want a link from the better of the 2 – your homepage.

But they can’t necessarily link to you from their home page, certainly not if they are a directory so they’ll link from the appropriate page. How many clicks from the front page to the page you’re on. Yes that matters but how much? What is the PR of the page they’re offering you? Probably less than you are offering so consider if you really want to give a homepage link.

When it’s OK – you can tick off 3 of the following

  1. Real people will follow the link
  2. The organisation is endorsed by your business
  3. The PR of the page you’ll be listed on matches the PR of your home page
  4. The link doesn’t detract from your site and the link title is consistent with the subject matter of your own site

I’m guessing that you won’t find many sites that meet those criteria.