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Jan 08 2009
Jan 08

The logo of a Web site is not only important for branding but also as a navigational element, that many users expect to link to the home page. According to usability guru Jakob Nielsen the first of Ten Good Deeds in Web Design you can do is link your logo to the home page except you are on the home page.

Mr. Nielsen conducted many usability studies and has written groundbreaking articles and books on Web usability. Good reason for me to trust him when it comes to this topic, especially when it sounds completely plausible.

Why Linking with JavaScript?

There are many parallels between creating a usable and creating a search engine friendly Web site, but often enough you need to take subtleties into account. According to Rand Fishkin — let me call him the Jakob Nielsen of SEO — only the first anchor text counts for Google and he is not the only SEO expert who observed this.

On Linux-Netbook.com, a Drupal site I created a few months ago, the site logo did not link to the home page in favor of the site name, which appears later in the HTML source. I have no evidence and not tested whether anchor text is more important than ALT text, but that was my reasoning.

To fix this usability crime without sacrificing my SEO efforts, I added the following 5 lines of jQuery code to the theme's script.js file:

jQuery(function(){
  if (document.location.pathname != Drupal.settings.basePath) {
    jQuery('#logo').wrap('<a href="http://www.seo-expert-blog.com/blog/linking-the-logo-to-the-home-page-with-javascript/' + Drupal.settings.basePath + '"></a>');
  }
});

This code links the image with the ID logo to the home page unless we are on the home page, provided the user agent interprets JavaScript.

I assume that Google's engineers are smart enough to make Googlebot understand this JavaScript snippet, but I guess it does not play a role in the which link comes first game. In case it does, the ALT text contains the site name as well.

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web