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Should I let my webmaster link from my site?

 12:28 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

My webmaster asked me this;

"If you don't mind, for my self marketing purpose, I would like to add some acknowledgement text to the footer of your web site. What do you think?
I will only small text (same size as your existing footer). The text is as follows:

Site developed and maintained by XYZ.com Web Development

With the link to my web site (but open in new window).
What do you think?"

What do YOU all think?

My site has PR5, his site has PR4. As he is a friend as well as our (paid) webmaster I'm happy to do it if it won't adversly affect my SEO / PR. However if it will have any negatives for me, then sorry ... but business comes first.



 1:21 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

it is a standard practice to put site credits at the bottom of a site. I am surprised he even asked.

on a sperate issue....
photographers can slap copyrights all over photos but a web designer cannot slap a designed by tag on their site?


 9:03 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bali_Freak, this is no problem at all and quite a normal practice like IgotDreams mentioned.

Also, this link will have no adverse effect to your website as far as the PR is concerned.


 10:30 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well this will be an unpopular post!

An aquantance of mine asked me the same question about a year and a half ago. I said pretty much the same thing as the answers above.

A year or more went by and I hadn't seen her around. I was surfing one day and happened upon a new site, so I took a look around and figured out it was her site, so I called her.

She said her other site just stopped delivering traffic so she had a new webmaster design her another site and this time it was working well. She was quite pleased. Even though she had to spend nearly $2,000.00 for an 8 page site which she really didn't have.

She said the old site was still up and running but doing nothing for her. I went and took a look at it. Sure enough ... her webmaster's site had a white bar on Google. He had a link on all 8 pages and they were the only external links in the site.

Guilt by association! I removed the links for her and it is now performing again!

I see no reason why webmasters believe they have proprietary rights to put their link on a site you have paid for. With the penalties dolled out these days, why would you want to be subject to what he or she does with their site? Webmasters make mistakes too ... as the many "Why isn't my site listed in Google" posts will verify!

Tell him or her he or she may have a link on your links page like everyone else ... and then monitor all your outgoing links at least once a month.

As soon as I discover a site which I am linking to has been penalized, I take the link off the site. I then call the person who's site I am linking to and let them know about the penalty and ask them to call me when the penalty has been lifted. If they bother to call, I then put it back on the site.

I don't think photographers have any rights to photos they have sold you eitherr. However, if they have "given" you photos ... then sure, a link is a fair trade.

......... Running and ducking as I sign off!


 1:12 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

No need to run and duck, Liane.

A link is of some value, or else designers (or anyone else) wouldn't ask for it. It's not "common practice" like a photo credit, it's something that in many cases designers got away with putting on sites because their owners didn't realise what was happening.

If it is "just" for advertising, then there is an argument that the contract price should be less and the link should be javascripted.

If it is for link popularity, then the risks and any rewards should be explained to the site owner.

A further risk in doing this is the identification as part of a network, if the designer does a lot of work with sites dealing with "widgets in widget-town" and those types of sites tend to interlink anyway.


 8:28 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would ask for a link back from his index page


 8:41 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)


Are you talking about a single link from one page (like your home page)? Or a link from the footer of every page on your site?


 1:09 pm on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"She said the old site was still up and running but doing nothing for her. I went and took a look at it. Sure enough ... her webmaster's site had a white bar on Google."

Being "wet behind the ears", what do you mean by a "white bar on google"?



 10:25 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I imagine that he means it has a PR of 0.


 2:13 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I always ask before I put a link to my site up. I only put one link from each site to mine up (on the index page).

On the other hand, you paid for the site, you have every right to say no.



 2:21 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I usually ask, but I make clear to the client that they don't have to accept and that they can remove the link at any time. Also, I would usually only have one link from their index page, not on every page of their site. Most clients accept.

I have to say that my professional site doesn't have a white bar (although it's only a PR5), and I usually give a link to their new site from my (PR4) portfolio page. It might not give them much of a boost in the SERPs, but it at least ensures they are going to get indexed reasonably quickly through the link from my site.


 7:38 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Same here. I always link to their site from a portfolio page. When you think about it, they are really the ones benefitting because my portfolio pages are PR4.



 1:28 am on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Your replies are interesting. It seems the general consensus is that the webmaster doesn't have an automatic right to benefit from a link to his/her site, and would be cheeky to do so without asking permission. After hunting around WebmasterWorld I came to the conclusion it can (very slightly) harm my SERPS I believe. This is why;

Our hompage has PR5. It has achieved that PR5 because of the backlinks to it from other pages. Our homepage now has a certain amount of 'transferable' PR accumulated that it may pass on to the pages it links to.

At the moment it has three links to other pages on our site (not sure if left menu counts as links or not, so I've excluded them). Each of these other pages on our site will receive 30% of that transferable PR.

If we add a link to our webmaster's site we will have four outgoing links. Each receiving 25% of the transferable PR - 75% going to our three pages, and 25% going off site to our webmaster's website.

Our site therefore now has 25% less PR from our home page flowing back around our site because I gave one link to our webmaster.

Anyway, this webmaster is also a friend, so I let him link anyway, just wanted to know what everyone thought of this, and educate myself a bit.


 4:51 am on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's not that clear cut. Different weight is give to internal links and external links on a page, as well as other factors.


 5:24 am on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I guess it's not so easy to calculate. But (I think) it must be true that;

"Our site therefore now has (an unknown %) less PR from our home page flowing back around our site because I gave one link to our webmaster"


 8:40 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have you considered asking the webmaster to develop a lightweight image? That way ALT text can be associated with the link surrounding the image. Just be sure it loads near the bottom of the source code for the page.

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