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Less Links on Your Homepage Could Increase SEO Traffic

October 27th, 2009 | | Crawlability

A while back Matt Cutts delivered some interesting news on PageRank Sculpting. He basically pointed out that the method of PageRank Sculpting really didn’t function as it was previously understood. For a quick recap: people used to add ‘nofollow’ tags to all “unimportant” links via their homepage in order to ‘save’ or ‘add’ more PageRank to the more important links on their homepage. Matt came back to say that by adding these nofollow tags you’re not giving more rank to the rest of the links, and the remaining followed links still have the same rank as they did previously.

However, one thing I heard at the recent SEOMoz conference in Seattle was that once this news broke, people were going back and removing all their nofollows on their homepage, and were actually seeing their rankings and traffic drop as a result.

Recently, I actually removed miscellaneous links from my homepage altogether instead of trying to nofollow them. These miscellaneous links lead to content that should be placed on other pages over my homepage. Instead, I focused only my top keywords on my homepage and tried to link to only those pages that contained those top keywords. This proved to help fairly well, seeing an increase in traffic by 10.25% after the change was made.

In theory, you should link your homepage only to the most important pages of your site. If you want to add content to your site to help your SEO efforts, don’t add links to this content from your homepage, find a more appropriate place for that content on other pages of your site or even in your blog. Choose 3 – 5 top keywords you want your homepage to rank for and include those keywords and links in your homepage.

Another thing you can do is if you have a privacy policy, terms and conditions page and an About Us page that all link from your homepage, combine the privacy policy and terms and conditions page into your About Us page. This will allow two less links on your homepage and more PageRank to your other links.

Keep in mind that each page of your site should only focus on 3 – 5 core keywords you wish that page to rank for. If one page is bombarded with anchor text and links pointing away from that page it could prevent you from ranking as well as you should be.

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