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I have a site which has key location landing pages in the footer which have been there for a long time. I know that these are not best practice and we should remove them. However, this could have a negative impact on the link equity to these pages. Is it worth removing them for best practice?

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    For clarity, what makes you think they're not best practice? – GDav Aug 16 '17 at 14:45
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    That article refers only to links placed in the site footer by the web designer, linking back to their own website. Basically that sails very close to what Google consider a "link scheme", which is against their terms of service. – GDav Aug 16 '17 at 15:05
  • Oh yes sorry that's not what I mean. I have around 60 site wide internal footer links. I heard at a conference this is bad practice. Is it? – Kirsty Simms Aug 16 '17 at 15:08
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Links in the page footer are not bad practice per se.

The article you mentioned in your comments refers to a very specific type of common footer link which, being something that could be building links to one site on a large scale, could fall foul of Google's policy on link schemes.

It sounds like what you're doing is a good faith effort to serve user experience, i.e. put direct links to key locations in the page footer. That's a fairly conventional practice common on, for example, hotel and car rental websites. As long as it's done within reason, there should be no cause for concern.

There's arguably a wider issue in that, if you're finding a need to use the footer to link extensively to main content, it might indicate your main navigation needs attention.

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    You're welcome. It's not at all uncommon to find some variation of "footer links are bad; don't use them" in blogs and talks, it's just rarely based on any real evidence. – GDav Aug 17 '17 at 8:00
  • So called bad footer links are outgoing links. It does not apply to internal links for the site. This is a perfectly normal thing to do. Some long time ago, site templates would have a link that credits the designer. While I personally feel this should be allowed and exist, the purpose really was for ranking. Also at the time J.C. Penny got caught making tons of links on other sites trying to game the system. If it were not for this, I believe that no penalty would exist. A perfect storm. Google had no choice but to apply penalties. Now Google can figure out appropriate links. – closetnoc Aug 17 '17 at 16:55
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You should be fine. Where I've seen this be a problem is where a site simply has a ton of keywords and links that server no other purpose but to push a higher ranking. Search engines are smarter about identifying that, these days and pushing those out of or lower in the rankings.

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