TheMadScientist - 12:06 pm on Jan 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
What is interesting though is in my niche I see other sites do the same thing, however, they are not an EMD yet link in the same manner with anchor text that has nothing to do with their domain name and is purely keyword based. You would think this is worse than the first case right?
Personally, what I see a bunch of posts about is 'looking at one thing', but that's not what Google's doing, so removing the footer links in one case might be enough to 'move under the threshold' ... In another it may have no effect, depending on (going by the list above) what's bold, what's capitalized, what's in quotes, etc. and even what's Missing could be a key in some cases.
I would guess the footer links aren't the issue 'directly' as much as the 'whole picture of emphasis' when put together causing an issue.
And, more often than 'fixing it', I hear about how people 'totally deoptimized' and can't figure out why they don't rank again yet ... It seems people keep going from one extreme to another, which is why I was noting above: It's not a 'game of extremes' any more.
One of the most interesting things about 'the algorithmic quest to find normal' is 'normal' could, theoretically change over time within a niche, so there may be cases where a site is close to 'too much' and Other people change what they're doing and lower the 'too much' line enough so another site 'triggers a filter' ... Or on the 'other side' a site with 'not enough' is not updated in line with 'normal' and that pushes it to the 'too low to be normal' side of things.
(Things are way more complicated than most seem to 'get' these days, which is why there's no 'one size fits all' advice that can be applied effectively across-the-board, except for some 'basics' and fundamentals ... Of course, this is likely news to many who listen to some of the so-called 'SEO gurus' who are all too happy to take a nice payment to tell people 'it's still all about the links' and think that 'zombie and traffic shaping' thread we have here is just plain silly, because if it's not 'all about the links' the 'gurus' might really have to think to come up with or make sense of anything rather than 'parroting' ... Of course there's no way there's anything those 'gurus' missed in that thread that led to a meaningful discussion here is there? Nah, this thread [webmasterworld.com...] and my initial comments in the update thread that 'started the ball rolling' stemmed from something completely different, really, they did ... lol)