When having an outbound link in the PHP footer on WordPress or similar, that appears on every page instance. Does that link appear to Google on every page? With 300 pages would that be 300 outbound links?

A friend of mine has just had a website created by a company who have their domain for web design dofollow linked at the bottom. He is trying to consider SEO for his website and I wonder if this would have any strain on a small site with only a couple of backlinks.

  • Interesting question I also want to know this. Oct 24, 2016 at 18:09
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    It doesn't consider it as 300 outbounds, it considers it low value site-wide link. Oct 24, 2016 at 18:12
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    This is a bit of a dirty trick by site template designers that has gotten some in trouble in the past. I would personally be changing these to NoFollow.
    – closetnoc
    Oct 24, 2016 at 23:30
  • I know it is dangerous to the template designer, but is it going to hurt the site it is on? I doubt it. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:35
  • Stephen you edited my question title yet messed up the spelling.
    – Mark
    Oct 28, 2016 at 22:34

3 Answers 3


It's not good at all for your friends site. Generally, outbound links should be to relative and authoritative sources. It lowers the quality score of your friends site. Quality sites link to relevant meaningful sources.

At the very least it should have a rel="nofollow" tag applied to it. Sites should always link out to sites that are better, and if the site is weaker or unrelated you should use the nofollow attribute.


Official Matt Cutts answer might be helpful for you.

Footer link is similar to widget link, and Google strongly suggest to add nofollow tag on such a links, because indirectly or directly you're manipulate their pagerank algorithm.

Actually there are some websites like Wordpress.com and blogger.com add their brand name in footer links when people create a blog like example.blogspot.com or example.wordpress.com, and Google might does not consider them in pagerank calculation. Normally they did not get any penalty, because they have some quality backlinks, and also they are not using keyword rich anchor text in link, like your friends using "Website Design Company in cityname" or something like that.


Chances are it won't hurt his site, but there's no benefit for him either. That is, assuming he paid for the design work and the inclusion of the link isn't required by the designer's TOS/license (as is often the case with 'free templates'). I would err on the side of caution and remove the link.

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