Linking from homepage to homepage with links has been a long time industry standard myth. We test this out and check if home to home page link works or if it can be beaten by a relevant internal page link.
For this test, we set up pages with 500 words and with a 2% keyword density. There were 2 domains used. Each domain had a home page and a relevant internal page.
On the home page, there was an H1, H2, H3, and H4, as well as one link. Domain 1 has a link on the home page back to the home page, while domain 2 has a link on the homepage to a random page. The second pages on each domain also have H1, H2, H3, and H4. On domain 2 second page, there is no link. Domain 2 second page, it is getting the link from the homepage of the domain.
An important point in this test set up is that the links being tested are contextual links in the body content of the home page. After being surprised with the test result for test one, we ran the test again with 2 new domains.
In each test, Domain 1 (link from homepage to homepage) ranked above domain 2 (link from homepage to a relevant internal page).
The myth is confirmed! We really couldn’t believe this one as it seemed a bit improbable. In the screenshot of the test, you can see that the internal, relevant pages outrank their respective homepages. Something that really surprised us on this test is that the internal page that is getting the link from the homepage isn’t beating the internal page that isn’t getting any link. It might be possible that the home to home link has made that entire domain stronger. As a side note, you can also see the value of a url that contains the target keyword.
In this video, Clint provides his feedback on this test and on the use of home to home links.
This is test number 20 – Home to Home Page Link vs Link to a Relevant Internal Page.
This is one of the early tests in SIA and I’ll be honest, when it first came out in June 2016.
I was actually interested in this. And the basic idea is, and I’ve never heard this myth before, and I’ve never heard it since, but if you link to your homepage from your homepage, you can increase the ranking of the website. Didn’t make any sense to me to be honest. When I heard it, I’m like, why would that even work? Why would that be something a thing?
But when you’re using tools like Cora and Cora lite, and you see correlation between the amount of backlinks that are pointing to a page from internal pages, and you see that oftentimes, it does matter. Now, you also have to take into account that directories especially in locals grew that metric up, but the correlation is there for some keywords.
The concept is, let’s say you want to rank your home page for Miami roofer, you link to your home page on your homapage, on your content using Miami roofer. And ergo, the page gets more power, and the domain is more relevant to Miami roofer.
If I was going to do that on Digitaleer, for example, it would be SEO company, I’d link to the homepage using the keyword SEO company and there you go, ergo, the domain is more relevant to SEO company. That’s the idea.
In the test, when we did that, the homepage link beat the home page to the internal link and the internal page didn’t outrank a competing non linked internal page via link juice power. It just kind of led to the confirmation of the myth that self linking to a page using the exact match keyword, was a signal that helped Google determine what that page is about. Or in the case of a homepage, maybe the entire website.
I don’t actually apply this very often. Sometimes they do it and sometimes they don’t. But let’s say in the instance where I’m running Cora ans I need to have another link, I gotta have an exact match in ahref tag, which if you don’t know, is the HTML tag for building links. It’s got to be in there with the exact match anchor text. If I see that in my Cora reports, then I can just do that to the page. I’m ranking the page for Phoenix SEO, I’ll link to that page from itself in the content with the keywords Phoenix SEO.
Does it work all that much?
Honestly, I don’t really give it a whole lot of credit in regards to the effectiveness of it. However, comment if you add it in with the other stuff that you may or may not be doing, it could create an opportunity for a little bit of a boost versus if it wasn’t there.
You’re not going to go over and take over page one from page 10, but if you’re on number 15, it may be that the difference between 15 and 10 in a ranking position. It is kind of a weak factor.
It’s a really good signal and it’s leveraging your code and leveraging the meanings of these codes and what they do to drive a signal without having to add a whole bunch of extra content or do extra domains or put some read more links or craziness inside of your content. So give that a test, see what happens, see if it bumps up, see if it goes down. We may retest this again.
But the downside is that when you’re doing a homepage link, the best way for this to work really is to optimize a page for a specific keyword and then it kind of screw things up with that domain for testing wise, and we don’t want to do that.
But we’ll look at it and we’ll see if we want to redo this again. I won’t hold my breath though because it is such a weak factor that if you make it part of your standard operating procedures and you’re not going to notice anything big because you’re doing everything else, but it could be that one little thing that pushes you over the edge from page two to page one, for example.
So why not, you’re not hurting anything. You’re not hurting user experience? So I’d say go for it.
Did this confirmed myth surprise you? Add this to your arsenal and check out more of the myths that we have confirmed in our test articles list.