There are always ways - but instead of getting PageRank back from the links, you may get both your own site and the sites of those who use the template penalized. This is what Google did to "sponsored themes" for Wordpress, and it sound like you are describing the same idea.
Not same idea at all...not trying to spam here, just create inbound links naturally.
Nobody pays for the link, I just design the template and on the bottom put a link to my site, anchor text like "Web Hosting" or "Canada SEO" whatever relates to my business.
This is called crediting the creator and has always been around with a multitude of sites including but not limited to Siteground, Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress, Templatemonster ect...some opens source and some commercial but mostly commercial.
Some component developers like Artio SEF and others have a way to make the link not "deletable" via javasript or PHP, if the user wants the link off he must purchase the addon, template or extension.
I would like to do something similar.
@Oimachi2 I don't think Ted was suggesting you were trying to spam, unfortunately others before you have used this idea of footer "credit" links to increase their inbound links.. but instead of designing templates, they "sponsored" them (by paying the designer to incorporate them)
so due to that SE's are rumoured to penalise sites which have or are pointed to by hundreds of footer links, think that's all he's saying..
read more about "sponsored" links [google.co.uk]..
I'm not sure - but would embedding your site/name as the designer in the meta data be more difficult for less savvy Joomla/WP/Drupal users to remove? I didn't find too much on it but apparently it can be used to find "code thieves" though how much credit passes, if any, I'm not sure:
Meta Designer tag [google.co.uk]
@SuzyUK, good point about the risk of penalties.
However, this I feel this is the sort of issue that in most cases G's anti web-spam team would investigate in person before awarding a penalty or not.
All I'd say is if you are doing a scheme like this you need to make sure your site isn't breaking guidelines anywhere else because you may well attract a manual review if a lot of sites used your templates (to make sure the links aren't paid - but they will pick up on anything that's dodgy elsewhere with your set up while they are at it). If the site to be linked to is a template design or web design site you should be OK.
But it would be extremely hard to force use of a credit link on something like a template. If it was a game or widget or something that's hosted on your server, it's a lot easier though.
This is the answer I was looking for:
"My best ideas would be to hide the footer message away in PHP code in an external file via an include"
This is what most other companies do, any idea how to get this done?
include() or require_once() the php file (or even better, add the code to a file that's already included).
In the footer html use a php snippet like
<?php echo $footer_text; ?>
and then in the included file you want to have:
$footer_text = '<span id="armadillos">Your footer link etc</span>';
Better to put the html tags in the variable to be output as they won't show up in the source.
If you are a php beginner then check out the PHP manual website to work out the syntax for include.
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I've been on a 5 day party over here in Thailand with friends...
But will sober up this weekend and try implementing your code.
Also, will this linking still give me Page Rank, will Google still see it as a valid incoming link?
Hi Oimachi, Google (and web browsers) can't tell if a link is statically part of the page or if it's been added by PHP. But links in a footer will likely pass less value than links anywhere else on a page, and if all the links use exactly the same anchor text they won't count for as much either. It is still a worthwhile tactic as long as you remain ethical and don't break webmaster guidelines.
I can't recommend faca5s idea - that's more a technique for hiding links on your own site (risky, black hat strategy, against Google's guidelines) than backlinks on other people's sites.
His rule makes the link actually invisible in the browser. Google can pick up on things like this that are set to display:none and it would be something likely to attract a manual review of your linking scheme.
and this decode in base?