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|Linking to my SEO site in clients footer|
I've had several of my SEO clients offer me space at the bottom of their home pages to link back to my company website with a text link. I'm wondering that would be considered tacky by the members of this group and also if anyone has seen that hurt their clients ranking. I've gone years without using my clients sites to link to mine so its no big deal. And I don't want to add a link like "Search Optimization Service by ABC SEO" and then have that be a red flag for google and cause my client to loose search positions. Thanks for your opinions.
|Footer links are tacky and mildly unethical IMO because it gives their competitor an edge by knowing who you are. People shouldn't pay for web development and/or SEO just to give the next guy a simpler path to the same if not better solution. |
Re web design not SEO - so unethical that every second website you see does it? What is tacky about that? Websites with a link to the designer are part of the deal in most cases and not at all tacky.
|Almost all? Can't say that I am seeing this. |
There is the tiny mention of ad agency with the ad serial number called as "Key Number" in ad parlance. However, I see less usage of Key Number lately, reason of which is beyond my knowledge.
|In most cases the SEO has nothing to do with the website per se |
Because it was SEOd and ranked, the user is able to see this site, just as an ad you see on a magazine, thanks to the ad agency. Besides, an SEO's advice has a bearing on how the website is designed.
I stress that in the absence of a no-compete agreement, this practice isn't exactly ethical and when done with the consent of the client, one can't really blame the SEO.
|...when done with the consent of the client, one can't really blame the SEO. |
It's the SEO's job to advise the client. I would bet, where there are such links, that the SEO has never advised the client about the possible downsides.
|Websites with a link to the designer are part of the deal in most cases and not at all tacky. |
Tacky to the Nth degree.
It's never part of my web development deal nor with any designers I've ever worked with mainly because they'd never get the job in the first place.
As both a webmaster and a web developer, I don't like it whatsoever, tacky at a minimum and bad business for the owner of the site IMO.
I don't even link my own sites together nor do I link them to my development biz, it just looks bad and smells bad, and has zero value to your visitors not to mention it looks cheesy.
Ever get your house painted and have the painters leave a big sign on the side of your house "Painted by Bob's House Painters"?
How about someone mowing your lawn putting a plaque on the side of the yard "Mowed by Fred's Lawn Care"?
Or ... would you let them paint this on the bottom of your pool "Pool maintained by the Pool Pros"?
I seriously doubt it.
Nor in the B&M world would I allow the contractors, painters, carpenters, or anyone else leave their marks all over my office space so why in the hell would I let someone do it online?
Not smart. Not advisable. Not happening.
If you want to advertise your clients, do it in a portfolio, not on their property.
|Ever get your house painted and have the painters leave a big sign on the side of your house "Painted by Bob's House Painters"? |
Not on a permanent basis, but yes. This is common practice for painters, scaffolders, builders, roofers, pavers, gardeners, estate and letting agents.
Or how about tags for cars with the dealer's name on them?
A discreet footer link on one page attributing credit for the work that went into the site is not cheesy at all in my view.
I don't expect it to create rankings, but I'm hoping someone who liked the site will be able to see who built it so they can hire me, and this happens. These links get clicked, and in 12 months and less than ten sites I've had two more jobs.
I always ask the client's permission. I work with small businesses and a few have even said they like having these links on their site as it makes them look like they have money to hire developers.
Just because it's open to abuse doesn't mean it's a bad thing per se.
Well just keep on doing it then, and I'll just have to keep on telling your clients how that practice can turn around and bite them in the ass. More business for me, so I'm cool with it.
When we put up a site for a client (either ourselves or contracted out or even just as project managers or consultants) we provide them with an actual site that belongs to them. Not a billboard.
|Or how about tags for cars with the dealer's name on them? |
FWIW, when I bought a new car last summer I specifically instructed that the dealer not put their name on it. If my car is going to be used for advertising anyone's business it will be my own, thank you!
|This is common practice for painters, scaffolders, builders, roofers, pavers, gardeners, estate and letting agents. |
Only during brief construction.
Once that's done, the signs are gone.
|Or how about tags for cars with the dealer's name on them? |
Not on my car!
|Just because it's open to abuse doesn't mean it's a bad thing per se. |
Of course not.
That's how hackers find Wordpress sites, that link at the bottom "Powered by Wordpress".
Nothing wrong with that either is there :)
In business it is extremely common for people who have created something to claim credit for it where appropriate and I can't think of anywhere more appropriate than a website footer.
There is just no way that your average person visiting a website would see this as tacky and many ethical designers do this ... but you are of course entitled to your opinion.
|many ethical designers do this |
An ethical designer would avoid actions which reduce the client's chance to get the best possible return on the work they were paying for.
Developers who post links on clients' sites are serving their own interests more than the clients'. Milking a client's site for free publicity and Page Rank might be okay if ... repeat IF ... that had been specifically negotiated as part of the compensation received for doing the work. If that conversation has not taken place then the designer ought not to be doing it.
FWIW I just looked at the results for a major commercial search phrase and in the top fifty sites I only spotted five which mentioned the developer or host on the home page. None were in the top ten.
|None were in the top ten. |
That's the point, isn't it. These footer links may be relatively common, and more so for designers than for SEOs, but they're just not top shelf. As I see it, they're kind of second tier actions and they brand both parties as second tier. No praise, no blame - that's just what it is.
|In business it is extremely common for people who have created something to claim credit for it where appropriate and I can't think of anywhere more appropriate than a website footer. |
Show me the developer's name in the footer on the following web sites:
Apple, Oracle, Walmart, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Zappos, Amazon, etc.
I could continue on naming thousands of professional sites where not a single attribution exists in the footer of the site. That's because it's work for hire, which typically doesn't allow the hired worker(s) to splatter attributions all over every page of the work for hire. The only place appropriate at a minimum IMO would be the ABOUT page, where attributions are commonly given (when permitted) in software as well, not on the entire product.
|they're kind of second tier actions and they brand both parties as second tier |
It's also a big red flag about that merchant's site.
I think twice about buying from someone that can't even afford work for hire that doesn't require attribution. Having a web developer or SEOs name all over the site makes me wonder how much access those people have, if my credit card is safe, whether I'll even get my order filled, or whether or not anyone will be there to answer email or the phone.
It's a sign of a low quality site, one I avoid.
|I could continue on naming thousands of professional sites where not a single attribution exists in the footer of the site. |
And I could do the opposite but it would be pointless since your views are clearly entrenched and it would prove nothing either way.
|It's also a big red flag about that merchant's site. |
I think twice about buying from someone that can't even afford work for hire that doesn't require attribution. Having a web developer or SEOs name all over the site makes me wonder how much access those people have, if my credit card is safe, whether I'll even get my order filled, or whether or not anyone will be there to answer email or the phone. It's a sign of a low quality site, one I avoid.
IMO that's just silly. Surely you cannot seriously be claiming that a link to the designer on a website is an indication of a lack of security?
Oh and what exactly what is wrong with being second tier anyway? We cannot all be Google, Apple and Amazon?
|what is wrong with being second tier anyway |
Exactly right - that's why I said "no praise, no blame". A lot of disagreements about SEO come from people applying different yardsticks, and that can cause confusion. An in-house SEO at a large corporation sees a different online world than an entrepreneurial affiliate marketer.
It's just a form of marketing. It works, I have sites that have benefited by that method, and I see many other SEO companies that do it that are ranking well in the serps. If website design people can do it and rank for website design, then why should the rules be so different for anyone else?
|I see many other SEO companies that do it that are ranking well in the serps |
Yes .... but how well is the client site ranking for the most important searches in their sector?
|but how well is the client site ranking for the most important searches in their sector |
Agree, client site doesn't benefit directly and I doubt if it harms them either, unless the SEO/design site itself is penalized. But there is an indirect benefit to the client, if that endorsement of SEO/designer comes with a no-compete agreement, which I strongly believe should be a part of the deal.
|Surely you cannot seriously be claiming that a link to the designer on a website is an indication of a lack of security? |
Assuming the SEO or web developer listed in the footer has full access to the site:
a) are they bonded?
b) do they have access to the CC data?
c) are they part of the site's PCI compliance?
d) are they using subcontractors, and if so, also bonded and PCI compliant?
If the site takes Paypal or Google Checkout, I might buy, but otherwise it's a huge risk when you know more than the site owner has access and their security status isn't plainly stated.
Not only that, when people have off topic links on their site I have to seriously wonder if they're serious about their business, it would be like have AdSense on their shopping pages, I'm outta there.
Basically, when the customer sees less about how the site is doing business the better off they are, out of site, out of mind, reduces the questions about the site operations and risks and it looks more professional.
Better things to put in the footer are:
Bizrate customer certified
SSL seal from the SSL provider
Some of those things may be somewhat toothless but at least they give the customer a warm and fuzzy feeling that the merchant is trying to be above board and cares that people think it's a safe place to shop online.
|Oh and what exactly what is wrong with being second tier anyway? We cannot all be Google, Apple and Amazon? |
Absolutely nothing wrong with being 2nd tier.
As a matter of fact, most of my clients were 2nd or (gasp) 3rd tier!
However, just because you're second tier doesn't mean you have to decorate the site like a Christmas tree in a trailer park. I never did that to any of my clients and I could easily list tons of 2nd tier sites (even 3rd tier) that don't either, they wouldn't stand for it.
It's not hard to make a 2nd tier site (or lower) look like a 1st tier site until you crap it up with irrelevant links and off topic garbage.
When it comes to making customers comfortable enough to spend their money and you put things on a website that are unexpected from the norm you play at your own risk with the ability to close the sale.
Just my $0.02 worth, and I'm not alone.
I'm just say'n...
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