I have got a good amount of clients with adult content. My competition with high authority has got thousands of links from the websites they have developed for their non-adult clients.

Is it OK to have the footer 'website developed by' links from adult sites?

And, are there any repercussions of linking to your site from adult sites?

  • 3
    I wouldn't put my name on it, I have my reasons for that, mainly because I put those links just to look for potential clients and this isn't a place I would look for, but here you can read 2 good articles which cover this question: 1.moz.com/blog/… 2.moz.com/blog/…
    – knif3r
    Jun 21, 2016 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


From experience I can tell you it will skew your clientele toward more adult sites and away from non-adult sites. This is a natural result. Adult site owners are looking for friendly site developers while companies will shy away from a developer that does adult sites. That is a given.

As for a penalty, that depends upon the site, what happens to the site in the future, and how many adult sites that link to you that go bad. Beyond that, Google tolerates links within headers, sidebars, and footers to your own sites, however, considers site wide links such as "developed by" in footers links as link spam.

From: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.


The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results:


Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites

You also run the risk of any site going bad. One famous example is whitehouse.com which ultimately changed from one of the most successful adult sites to one of the worst spam sites causing all kinds of problems. It was a specific target of Google's anti-spam team and will remain as a prime example of a spam site throughout history.

This is not something I would do. I also do not recommend it.


Links are links - there isn't a penalty for an adult site vs a non-adult site. I've even had hosted pages on our company site that linked back and forth to swinger sites with no repercussions or noticeable differences to other more mainstream events.

The danger comes from what context the link is in. Because the content of these sites is clearly pornographic in nature, if Google decides your link is relevant to that topic then it may decide you're an adult site. To avoid this, make sure the anchor text is relevant to your sites content and that your own articles aren't referencing any adult themes.

  • After reading all the answers, I have decided it's not worth the risk since adult sites industry is not* my targeted clientele.
    – Anon
    Jun 25, 2016 at 10:08

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