What is the value of SEO footer links ?
For example, if we sponser or distribute a wordpress theme with footer links, will it help our SEO efforts?

What is the value of SEO footer links ?
For example, if we sponser or distribute a wordpress theme with footer links, will it help our SEO efforts?

That's a good question. It might, but it would attract the odd visitor looking for Wordpress themes; who isn't really interested in what your webpage is about.

Footer links, for SEO purposes, are effective when they serve as a navigation system to the important webpages in your web site.

I notice that many SEOs use the footer for spam links. They'll put unneccessary repetitive anchor links such as: Toronto SEO : Brampton SEO : Hamilton SEO : etc. The various city webpages are essentially identical, except for a couple of unique blurbs about each community at the beginning of the webpage. The purpose of this technique is obvious and I've seen it work but it's still spam.

Footer links are suppose to be for stuff like Disclaimer, About Us, Contact, Mission Statement etc. and even though these webpages sound boring and not very optimizable, they are in fact very useful in the overall scheme of things; particularly when the webmaster is interested in ROI moreso than bulk traffic.

OK - for example, does google look at div="footer
and everything inside that div will be valued less.

Or more broadly, would you put it past Google/Bing to understand the composition of various CMS engines, especially wordpress, and value links in different parts of the site differently? ie comment links are worth less than main article links, sidebar links are more worthless, footer links are worse, etc..

OK - for example, does google look at div="footer
and everything inside that div will be valued less.

Or more broadly, would you put it past Google/Bing to understand the composition of various CMS engines, especially wordpress, and value links in different parts of the site differently? ie comment links are worth less than main article links, sidebar links are more worthless, footer links are worse, etc..

This is a controversial subject and my opinions on this kind of stuff changes regularly.

I get the impression that search engines like structure. They understand navigational systems. They find Headers and Footers all over the place.

To get to your question, I think there is a big difference in the way a search engine considers a link found in a sidebar menu and a link found in a comment.

On a side note, a link found within the body content is also considered differently than a navigational link because it is normally placed inside of a sentence or it is a sentence/phrase in itself.

Header and Footer links are supposed to be navigational, sidebar links too sometimes. Navigational links occur throughout the website, on every page whereas links in the body content or in a comment are randomly occuring. This is what the search engine expects, this is general webpage structure.

Now, to stick a bunch of links in the Footer for the purposes of SEO exclusively would go against standard webpage structure. It should raise red flags. As a matter of fact, links intended for SEO purposes exclusively should be avoided altogether. Links should be deployed with the intent of facilitating a visitor's experience first and then can be optimized to stimulate the search engine.

I've seen SEO Footer links work, at times, when done well, but they look real tacky to the trained eye and they are a greyhat search engine manipulation technique.

This is a controversial subject and my opinions on this kind of stuff changes regularly.

I get the impression that search engines like structure. They understand navigational systems. They find Headers and Footers all over the place.

To get to your question, I think there is a big difference in the way a search engine considers a link found in a sidebar menu and a link found in a comment.

On a side note, a link found within the body content is also considered differently than a navigational link because it is normally placed inside of a sentence or it is a sentence/phrase in itself.

Header and Footer links are supposed to be navigational, sidebar links too sometimes. Navigational links occur throughout the website, on every page whereas links in the body content or in a comment are randomly occuring. This is what the search engine expects, this is general webpage structure.

Now, to stick a bunch of links in the Footer for the purposes of SEO exclusively would go against standard webpage structure. It should raise red flags. As a matter of fact, links intended for SEO purposes exclusively should be avoided altogether. Links should be deployed with the intent of facilitating a visitor's experience first and then can be optimized to stimulate the search engine.

I've seen SEO Footer links work, at times, when done well, but they look real tacky to the trained eye and they are a greyhat search engine manipulation technique.

As always, Professor Fred never fails to educate. Thank you sir.

It helps you alot in building link if you will put a link in the footer of a website. The more bloggers or people using that theme, it will give you a great backlinks plus if he/she is optimizing his/her site, then it is a great help for you to increase your ranking and PR.

Thanks Fred - even if Google is not that smart right now, they probably intend to be that smart in the future.

thanks Fred, you really have explained that in very good manner ....

I think the footer part is still useful for site inner linking and features as a bottom navigation bar but don't spam there. :)

Have a nice day,

Good anchors sitting on pages with higher pagerank scores tend to help ranking, even if they're in footers.”

I think the value of SEO footer links is almost the same as the value of SEO header links

Footer links may be devalued by search engines automatically
Check out the evidence - Yahoo! says they may devalue footer links, Bill Slawski uncovers patents suggesting the same and anecdotal evidence suggests Google might do this (or go further) as well. Needless to say, if you want to make sure your links are passing maximum value, it's wise to avoid the footer (particularly the footer class itself).
Footer links are often not the first link on the page to a URL
Since we know that the first link on a page is the one whose anchor text counts and footer links, while anchor text optimized, are often a second link to an already-linked-to target, they are likely not to have the desired impact.
Footer links get very low CTR
Naturally, since they're some of the least visible links on a webpage, they receive very little traffic. Thus, if algorithms like BrowseRank or other traffic metrics start to play a role in search rankings, footers are unlikely to have a positive impact.
Footer links often take a page beyond a healthy link total
Many pages that already have 80-100 links on the page are going to lose out when they add a footer with another 30-50 links embedded. The link juice passed per link will go down and the value of each individual link is lowered.
Footer links can be a time suck
The time you spend crafting the perfect link structure in the footers could be put towards more optimal link structures throughout the site's navigation and cross-linking from content, serving both users and engines better.

I think footer links add good value.
BUT!
if your site is young you will get some sort of penalty
if your site is old and trustworthy you will get just benefits!

you can get tons of backlinks to your website