I work for a web design business and we have been adding links in our clients' website footers to our own as attribution (e.g.: "Website by Acme Co", as plenty of other agencies do). What are the SEO disadvantages in doing this relating to the target website (i.e: our own website)? I've seen a few questions suggesting that in general, site-wide external footer links are not a good idea these days (e.g: Site-wide footer external link - is it a risk?).

Is this likely to be degrading SEO performance for the target site? I have noticed that our agency's website does have a disappointingly low search presence, despite adhering to as many industry practices as possible. Also, when searching on Google for my agency's name, our client's websites rank very closely under our own, as does our website rank on second and third pages when searching for clients' business names.

I've had a look around at some websites done by other agencies to see if it is a common trend to add the nofollow link type to the external attribution link, but from what I've seen, it doesn't seem to be so. Is something like nofollow on the external link a good way to fix this?

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'll not recommend using external dofollow footer links cause:

  • Many of them will be off-topic so your ranks will not be affected
  • Multiple links from the same domain (for SEO it's better quality than quantity and we need a variety of root domains)
  • Footer/sidebar links are not good for SEO

So, you will be risking your SEO for nothing in return, that's why I'll always use them as nofollow. It's from 2009 but Matt Cutts told about the importance of the links depending on where they are in the site.

  • Yes, use them as nofollow, if at all you must need those links. I stopped such links from certain websites. – tushonline Sep 14 at 13:47

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