It’s Time to Fix Your Footer LinksAuthor: Jamie | Filed under: Link Building
Once upon a time, link building was easy. Then Google got even smarter and changed everything.
One of the most common ways to get easy links was by having footer text on your website or your client’s websites (for example if you’re a web designer).
Keep reading to discover why it’s time to fix those footer links.
Drop the anchor
You used to be able to have lots of footer links pointing back to your website using the same anchor text and reap the rewards. For example, if you had a company offering carpet cleaning in Edinburgh, you may have added footer links with “carpet cleaning Edinburgh” as the anchor text on each of your web pages.
This approach will no longer work. Google is now looking for a diverse range of anchor text in order to help identify quality sites. These should be a mixture of terms and also include links which just use your domain name and company name.
A word about web designers
If you look at lots of websites you’ll have probably noticed links in the footer of pages going back to the homepage of a web design company.
For a long time this has been an SEO tactic for many freelance web designers and agencies. If these links have been set up as DoFollow you are doing your clients’ sites no favours and also harming your own if you’ve used the same anchor text on each site.
Part of the reason for this is relevance. Google wants to see sites relevant to your industry linking to your site. Let’s say you’re a web designer in Glasgow and your client is a landscape gardener. A link from a landscape gardening website clearly has no relevance to web design. Then imagine you’ve designed hundreds of websites for different industry sectors; you can see now how Google might treat your incoming links as being low quality and irrelevant.
A couple of other considerations
Google also likes to see incoming links going to different pages on a website so they are relevant to the end user. If you have all your footer links on your own or client’s websites pointing to your homepage and nowhere else, this can cause problems too.
Also, if your own website has a large number of pages and you have footer links filled with keywords on each page, these are all going to be counted as links. If Google sees hundreds of links from the same domain all with the same anchor text, it will be suspicious and your search engine rankings will likely suffer as a result.
What to do
If you have your own website and it’s stuffed with keyword rich footer links, then get rid of them now.
If you’re a web designer with dozens of DoFollow backlinks from clients’ sites then make sure you code them as ‘NoFollow’ so they’re not counted by Google.
If you liked this article you should also read: a beginner’s guide to DoFollow and NoFollow links
Image credit: alitaylor