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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)?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

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

Evidence: http://www.highrankings.com/footer-links-349

Evidence: https://www.tastyplacement.com/footer-links-bad-for-google-bad-for-clients

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.

Evidence: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/business/13search.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&

Site-wide external links are dangerous. More to the point Google is looking for these style of links in headers, sidebars, and footers. Don't do it!

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Nice response, thanks for the info. –  Menelaos Vergis Oct 10 '14 at 7:09

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.

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I up-voted this answer because of one important fact; a) Make this link appear only on the home page and not a site-wide link This answer is technically and factually correct. –  closetnoc Oct 9 '14 at 4:33
There is no harm whatsoever in a sitewide link if it is nofollowed. –  zigojacko Oct 9 '14 at 8:30
The question is about site-wide external (outbound) links in the footers of sites and the consequences are quite clear these days. Don't do it. –  closetnoc Oct 9 '14 at 15:24

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.

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This statement is completely false. Site-wide links in footers has been a bad idea since 2011 when Google de-listed J.C. Penny and others. In fact, it is a Google no no. –  closetnoc Oct 9 '14 at 4:30
That's quite misleading actually. There is no penalty associated to sitewide links if they are for the purpose of internal linkage and navigational purpose. Sitewide links can have a negative effect if abused (as with anything) and it is common knowledge that sitewide links are largely devalued in terms of any SEO benefit. But you certainly won't get a penalty just for having a sitewide link (branded anchor) on a website on that factor alone. –  zigojacko Oct 9 '14 at 8:23
The question is about external linking and the consequences are quite clear these days. Personally, I do not like the fact that Google has take such a hard stance over something that is a long standing tradition, but unfortunately, others have abused the tradition of linking in footers and ruined it for all of us. That is unfortunate. I would rather live in a world as you described it. Credit where credit is due. –  closetnoc Oct 9 '14 at 15:19

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