---- Google Penalty from Artificial or Unnatural links
1script - 1:02 am on Jun 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
if a design agency distributes a theme with a link in the footer, why isn't this link a legitimate "vote" for the agency's website?
I guess my problem was that I was promoting something other than a Web design agency. Additionally, several of the themes had my URLs under "Sponsored by" and not "Designed by" and that's just a dead giveaway. In the end, I think that it's me using the same anchor text on several (not all) themes that made them look closer. Funny thing: I was not trying to rank for the phrase (never did, before or after), just trying to describe what my site was about. But since the text didn't vary much, that no doubt seemed rather suspicious.
I even had some people ask if they can still link to my site when I asked them to remove the footer theme links. I politely declined in one case and suggested a re-worded anchor for the blogroll in the other. I never thought that I would ever be #1 asking to remove my links and #2 saying "no" to people that ask if they can link to me. What a strange world we now live in!
Again, I don't think you'll have this issue if you are actually designing WP themes, only if you are promoting a site that has nothing to do with Web design.