I am developing several websites and I usually place a 'created by' link at the bottom next to copyright to promote my job.
Is this a valuable link? Even if it comes from completely different sites (e-shops, forums, blogs, company pages etc)?
Actually, Google is looking at site-wide or template backlinks negatively these days. I do not happen to agree with this fully. It is traditional to give credit to those who have helped you with a link in the footer. But because of the excessive footer links used in template designers in the past few years, Google, and rightly so, has determined that this was an SEO tactic designed to game the system and it is. Therefore any link in a footer if it appears once is fine, but site-wide has caused severe penalties.
Case in point. I got a call a few years back from a template designer who was being penalized for links in the footers of the templates he designed. He was trying to get as many of these links removed as possible. He mentioned that if the link was broken and the citation remained that all should be well. And it was in time. I kept in touch and the penalty was lifted but the damage was done to his business as he nearly dropped off the face of the earth, as far as Google was concerned, for many months.
Evidence: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en Quote: Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
Why footer link diversification is horrible advice.
It seems to be all the rage these days to justify site-wide links in footers again as long as there is diversification. However, Google stills says no. (See the first link above.) Here is a warning shot over the bow of anyone who want's to try this tactic.
J.C. Penny was slapped with a huge Google penalty simply because of links created in the footer of sites. It was an ad bug of course and it cost J.C. Penny dearly. J.C. Penny and other companies where completely de-listed through the entire holiday season making the final salvo Google's. It sent shock-waves through the SEO community that they better clean-up their act and fast. Google was not here to play.
Cyrus Shepard of MOZ: http://moz.com/blog/the-rules-of-link-building-whiteboard-friday
John Mueller in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3H9HWG2S0w&list=UUthrUiuJUtFSXBUp48D8bAA&index=3
John Mueller in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxa2zROOts0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUthrUiuJUtFSXBUp48D8bAA
John Mueller in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-dOF-T6NOU&list=UUthrUiuJUtFSXBUp48D8bAA
John Mueller in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__8fGDmBxW0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUthrUiuJUtFSXBUp48D8bAA
Where the question is:
(This speaks to the OP's question specifically.)
John Mueller in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEAQyHtRQxg&feature=em-uploademail
Where the question is:
Generally speaking that’s less of a problem. It’s something where it really should be clear to the user that the webmaster is linking to this site on purpose and not that it’s something that’s required. One of the ways you can guess at that is to see if this is a link that is going to domain directly more or less or does it have some kind of keyword rich anchor text that starts to look really complicated. If you’re saying that “This site was designed by www.marketsharewebdesign or something like that then that’s something where generally we’d say that’s ok.
Marie Haynes, the writer of the article states:
I extracted this list from the examples on the page.
I will add that there is likely a limit to the number of footer links pointing to any site. There is clearly a threshold. No-one can say what that threshold is. As well, clearly the inbound link profile must be diverse. If nearly all or too many of your inbound links are identical templated footer links, you will have another problem besides the sheer volume.
Another consideration: While it is said that linking patterns are being looked at and that links between sites with some commonality are being scrutinized, it is clear that it is at least permissible to link between company sites. I mentioned realms in another post. I will describe them again to be clear. If example.com has several sub-domains; blog.example.com, sales.example.com, products.example.com, services.example.com, these are within the same realm. If examplea.com, exampleb.com, and examplec.com are the same company and share the same registration information and have similar contact information on their about page, these too are within the same realm. Realm is a term used in search as a way of illustrating relationships between sites. Footer links within a realm would likely be permitted as a natural link baring any other issue.
I will go back to what Cyrus Shepard says in how I originally answered this question.
Google says No. I have always admitted that there was some fuzziness surrounding the acceptable limits of what footer (and other site-wide) links will be accepted. Until Google becomes clearer in their guidelines, I believe the responsible answer to the question of whether a site-wide link remains- Don't do it! After-all, who can honestly say what is acceptable? Even John Mueller referred back to the anti-spam team as being the arbiter of the rules. And it sounds to me like the rules are just not clear.
So while some may get away with it, I say use extreme caution or avoid out-bound site-wide links if unsure. I harken back to the web designer who called me in a panic. He was following the advice that John Mueller says was likely okay. But it clearly was not. We know that search engines change the game often based upon discovery, trends, and what they learn. I cannot tell you something is okay today that may not be tomorrow.
So I guess there will have to be a gray area until Google says otherwise. It would be nice it they could put a few parameters around the subject so that honest people can play by the rules. I prefer the tradition of placing a link as gratitude and yet understand that requiring a link in a footer is unnatural linking. Until then, I say follow the Google guidelines. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Footer links carry limited value in regards to link juice but may bring in relevant referral traffic.
My suggestion is that you use you
a) Make this link appear only on the home page and not a site-wide link
b) use your Brand Name as the anchor text in order not to over optimize your backlink anchor text profile which may result in a Penguin penalty.
Minimal SEO value as it is a sitewide link but if you've built a great website which credits you in its footer then it's surely going to be positive from a branding / potential new lead generator perspective.
Repeated External Links
Google understands repeatable content in sidebars, footers and headers. Almost every website has repeated content in these elements from text, to images and of course images. The website will not receive a penalty for something that is expected from most websites.
However, external links are some what treated differently. External links repeated on multiple pages will not harm your SEO unless the link is a paid link, a link to a malware site, a link to adult content assuming your content is rated for all or anything that Google does not approve off. Sites that have relevant links in the footer may slightly benefit, while those with non relevant will get zero benefit from Google.
Site-wide links can harm the receiving site if they have enough of these type of links as it can mess with there link profile.