I have been (unsuccessfully) looking for some research that supports / rejects (or even discusses) the hypothesis that:
Once a user has entered a website a significant percentage of them do not return to the homepage.
Is this hypothesis true for all type of site (large corporate brochureware sites, blogs, ecommerce...) or is it only true for specific web areas / demographics. Or is the hypothesis completely false in all cases? What percentage of website visitors return to the homepage once they're already within the site?
This has basically come from a discussion about whether or not we can do away with homepages for a properly indexed website; users should find what they need directly from a search engine via good architecture and be able to navigate around from there to various sections of a website without ever needing to visit the homepage. The question then was: do we need a homepage at all? The obvious answer is "yes, or course you still need one". But once they're in the website do users ever return / visit the homepage?