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This is my first website that I am trying to create. I am reading the SEO guides for websites, but the question that I couldn't find clear answer is the following:

Does keeping the social icons and buttons on the footer affect SEO practices for the website? And if it does how much does it affect when your social networks don't have too much popularity?

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As far as i know, there is no positive or negative impact of placing social icons on your website.

It will help your visitors to connect with you through your social media profiles and will help you to stay connected with them too.

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  • 100% correct, they have zero value. I would make each link a nofollow (so you dont waste any link juice) and also like to set their targets to open in new window (or tab) so that your users are not going to leave your site and get distracted on a social networking site. In my view, you use social networking to drive traffic to your site, not away from it, and while having these links builds credibility they seem to me as a reminder to your visitor to visit a 3rd party social site and goof off. If you can avoid having the social links, thats what I would do. – Frank Sep 22 '14 at 12:31
  • Thank you Frank ! including no follow is good idea indeed – Jack Sep 29 '14 at 11:41
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The icons itself have no value, apart from recognision for your users. A link you your SM accounts is a plus, this way SE's can link you SM and website together.
This does require a healthy relation between the two, the socialmedia's need to link back to your site.

Does it matter if you add it to the footer? AFAIK not, as long it's there, it's there (unless you hide it away on 1 page).

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Placing your social media Icons at the Top or in the header can help your visitors to get connected and visible to them in first impression. But it doesn't impact ranking.

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As per my experience it won't harm your search engine ranking, but it advisable that the social icons link must be nofollow to restrict Google from passing link juice to these social links.

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