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Are footer links good, bad, etc.?



2:52 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Been seeing some talk lately in regards to the latest algo changes and footer links... what is everyone's take on this?

I think most people would agree that majority of sites include a copyright, date, then their url or text linking to their url at the bottom of every page.

Is this now something we should be concerned with? If we do link to our root index in the footer should we rel=nofollow our own in-site link? Remove the link?

What are your opinions? I thought I would bring this up as the more I dig into changes lately it comes up now and then. There was one case where removing footer links was part of a recovery which seemed to work...


5:07 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you're trying to get anchor text in there, then I'd say yeah you should be concerned about the future if you haven't already been hit.

If it's just your brand name, or maybe a small image with your brand as Alt text... that's fine.

/my opinion, of course.


5:17 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I was thinking about this also.

If you have a link (domain name is anchor text) to your home page in your footer, would it be good to make the link no follow if the domain name is an exact match domain or partial match domain?

Could the link to the home page in the footer be seen as over optimization if it contains competitive keywords? Example: http://www.buildbluewidgetsquickly.tld and blue widgets and build blue widgets are competitive phrases.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:22 am (utc) on Nov 8, 2012]
[edit reason] delinked sample url [/edit]


5:34 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is along the same line of things I was thinking gouri...


5:35 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Links to the main areas of your site are useful, if your visitor has had to scroll down your pages. Good usability shouldn't go penalised.

I can't see any worries there, unless, of course, the links are over the top keyword wise....


5:46 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I don't link to the home page from any of my footers, so I have no idea if it's a good or bad thing as far as ranking go, but I haven't had any complaints because it's not there.

If we do link to our root index in the footer should we rel=nofollow our own in-site link?

Absolutely not... As soon as you nofollow a link to a resource on a page all links to that resource on the page are nofollowed, so a nofollow on the footer link would also effectively nofollow the header link and the breadcrumb link and every other home page link on the page. *

It actually makes sense to do it that way from a search engine perspective when you think about the intent of nofollow being to say, 'This link was not included editorially reasons.' or 'I'm not 'vouching for' the resource linked.'

If you indicate the resource is not included for one of the preceding reasons via nofollow on one link, then how can the rest of the links to the same resource be objective, editorially placed and to a resource you trust?

It makes no sense to trust/vouch for/editorially link a resource with one link but not another... Either the resource is something you vouch for and/or included for editorially reasons, or it's not.

* I don't have time to go digging through history to cite a source for this, so you'll have to DYODD to verify what I'm saying has been posted here and I believe included in at least one MC video on YouTube.


6:30 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

While we're on this topic, take look at Amazon's footer for good measure. They even squeeze some anchor text in there. :P

I certainly would not do that. But I guess they can afford to.


6:33 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Google and Bing have been using page segmentation to differently weight different sections of a page for a number of years. Many web people I speak with believe that internal links in certain "blocks" such as a blog roll or the footer most probably* are substantially ignored.

See Bill Slawski's Google's Page Segmentation Patent Granted [seobythesea.com]
How a Search Engine Might Identify the Functions of Blocks in Web Pages to Improve Search Results [seobythesea.com]

And if you think about it, if a footer link to the home page were to be somehow "penalized" then just about every site on the web would be wiped out. ;-)

*And, of course, we don't know, we can only say most probably.

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