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I saw many webdesigner companies adding a small signature on each website they make. Signature could be masked by words like credits, design by..., but they all contain a direct link to the webdesign company that made the website.

This can be obviously good to drive more traffic to the webdesign company by direct visitors that might click on 'credits'/'design by...' link.

But what about SEO:

  1. Is it good for Google? (Or is it seen as spamming bad SEO technique)

  2. It should increase the webdesign company's website Google PR, shouldn't it?! And in some way push the wbsite up on Google search results? *

NOTE: obviously I'm supposing the webdesign company's website is also a site with interesting and decent contents, not just an empty idious site, I know Ggoogle looks 1st for contents, but besides that...

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't think there will be any penalties for having such links. A lot of popular web services, applications, etc. have button links or badges that are used on tens or hundreds of thousands of unrelated sites—e.g. Media Temple, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, CakePHP, ExpressionEngine, MySQL, PHP, VeriSign, W3C, PayPal, Creative Commons, etc.

For most designers/developers, you won't be developing enough sites to even come close to the amount of badge links that the above mentioned services have. So if jQuery and Drupal don't have any problems with their thousands of backlinks, then the average web developer certainly has nothing to worry about.

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+1, very pragmatic, thanks! –  Marco Demaio Oct 28 '10 at 10:28
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As always, it's good only so far as the link is valuable. If the page the link is on is unrelated to your website, and in these cases they almost always are, it won't have much value to you. You will get some PR (but not much if they don't get much PR themselves) and some value from the link, but it really won't be anything significant. I would not expect it to push your site up significantly in the SERPs for web design and development related queries.

(I generally don't like this as it makes the client's website look less professional. Always get permission to do this from the site owner and let them know the SEO ramifications to them.)

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+1 very interesting when you say the webpages contents should be related to the contents of the linked website. –  Marco Demaio Oct 26 '10 at 17:55
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Not all links are equal. Links from pages with related content are worth a lot more then links from unrelated content. Links are votes and votes from people who know the content are better then votes from people who don't. –  John Conde Oct 26 '10 at 18:07
    
Also, these links are generally small and at the bottom of the page, which further reduces their PR value. –  Eric Petroelje Oct 26 '10 at 20:20
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Actually PR has nothing to do with font size or page location. –  John Conde Oct 26 '10 at 20:47
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Something to consider is whether or not the linking sites are hosted on the same server and have the same IP address. If they are provided/hosted by the same company then this is quite possible. If the websites in question that link back to the website provider have thousands of pages (i.e. an ecommerce website) and a link is present on every page then there is a possibility these links combined will devalue any potential benefit.

Note: I'm unsure if this would result in a penalty of some kind for too many links from the same IP address, I've never seen this personally, however perhaps other community members have? There are a wide range of theories on this confirming/denying penalties, however based on the known facts about linking it feels sensible not to have thousands of home grown links from the same source.

As a rule of thumb keep it to the homepage only and keep it small and near the bottom.

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Thanks, but I disagree, read Lese majeste answer. –  Marco Demaio Oct 28 '10 at 10:30
    
You disagree that creating many cross links across websites on the same server with the same IP address would be a bad thing to do? –  BradB Oct 28 '10 at 11:28
    
yes I disagree. I can have mutliple websites with differente domains on the same server, therefore with the same IP. Maybe these webistes are all using Wordpress and aeach of them has a link to Wordpress website. I don't think Goggle is gonna punish Wordpress PR for this. –  Marco Demaio Nov 2 '10 at 12:14
    
@Marco: Ok, but in your scenario Wordpress is on a different server with a different IP. I'm sure a few links between websites are ok when on the same server. I meant a scenario where there are tens of thousands of links being swapped between a bunch of websites on the same server. –  BradB Nov 2 '10 at 12:26
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