My friend Jeff from Pet Formula asked how to implement First Link Priority. I figured my answer might be useful to other people, so here goes…
What Is First Link Priority
When there are two or more links on a page to another specific page, only the anchor text of the first link in the html of the page will count.
Let me say it another way: If Page A has two or more links to Page B, only the first of those links will pass anchor text.
This becomes problematic when the first link is an image link, because there is no anchor text to pass the information along.
It’s usually not a big deal, except on your website for the links to your home page. It’s a standard best practice to link your header logo to the home page. You probably also have a text link somewhere in the navigation that says “Home”, or if you’ve done some onsite SEO, it might include your main keyword.
The problem is that you have a whole lot of links to your home page that count as links, but you miss a major opportunity to tell the search engines what the page is about.
To use this site as an example, if I didn’t fix it, all the pages on this site would point to my home page and say it is about blank. About nothing. After the fix, all the pages on this site now point to my home page and tell Google that the home page is about “SEO Perth”. I now have hundreds of pages saying the home page is about SEO in Perth, which makes a huge difference.
As far as I’m aware, only Google has implemented First Link Priority. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but they are the rules of the game by which we play :)
Note: it only matters when Page A links twice or more to Page B. If you have 100 links to 100 different pages, then you don’t have to worry about First Link Priority
Thankfully, the solution is pretty simple:
- Change the link to http://yourdomain.com/index/
- Open your .htaccess file and add this line:
Redirect 301 /index/ http://yourdomain.com/
- Open your robots.txt file and add this line:
That’s all there is to it.
What Just Happened?
Your logo now links to http://yourdomain.com/index/ which redirects to http://yourdomain.com/ (your home page). This is currently enough to take care of First Link Priority, but just as an added level of safety, in case Google changes how it deals with First Link Priority, you block access to http://yourdomain.com/index/ from the spiders using your robots.txt file.
This will only benefit you if you have a text link to your home page elsewhere on your pages.
Remember: You only do this for the logo link or if you have more than one link and the first doesn’t contain the anchor text you want.
If you are using WordPress, don’t change the link in General Settings. Go to your theme and edit the logo link from there. It is likely in your header.php file (accessible from Appearance –> Editor).
If you use the Genesis Theme like I do on this site:
- Install Simple Hooks (if you haven’t already)
- Copy your header code into a text editor and change it to something like:
<div id=”title-area”><p id=”title”><a href=”http://yourdomain.com/index/” title=”Blog Title”>Blog Title</a></p></div><!– end #title-area –>
- Paste the edited code into the genesis_header Hook
- Check the box next to Unhook genesis_do_header() function from this hook?
- Save your changes
Let me know if the instructions were easy enough to follow, or if you’d like me to explain anything further.