Footer Links Overrated?

Footer links can be seen to be not very beneficial or useful for the following reasons:

  • Footer links are likely devalued by search engines
  • Footer links get low CTR
  • Footer links are usually never the first link on the webpage

There has been mounting evidence that search engines, like Google and Yahoo are starting to devalue links that are included on the footer of websites.  Many times these links and there anchor text keywords are not relevant to the content on the webpage, so these links loose some link juice for seo right there.  Additionally, footer links are the last ones seen on the webpage by search engines and users; since they are the last links on the webpage, they are devalued even more.  Since users see these links last because they are the least visible, they are unlikely to click on them and generate traffic to those webpages.  Instead of adding links to the footer of your websites, consider placing them elsewhere on the page, so that they are more usable for visitors and valued more by search engines.

2 Comments

  1. Errr … I’d not agree with you on this point. First, there’s no real evidence that footer links are devalued by search engines, and second because I’ve seen so many web designing websites boosting in SERP just because they offer some free wordpress themes with their links in footer.

    • I’m not saying that footer links are useless, simply devalued compared to in text or sidebar links. Websites that offer free templates will obviously see some benefits by their link existing on hundreds or thousands of websites because of the shear quantity of links; however, if their link were to be on the sidebar, they would see even a larger benefit regarding serps. For example, take website A that is only linked to by a single other website B through a sidebar link; website A currently ranks 10th for a long tail phase. If Website B changes the link of Website A to a footer link instead, Website A will see a change in their serp for this long tail phase; website A might rank 13th-17th now as a result of this change. Link placement on a page definitely plays a role in seo; search engines recognize the difference between in text, sidebar, and footer links, so as a result they give each of them a different weight. In text links are worth more than sidebar links which are worth more than footer links. I encourage you to adjust link placement on a page, so that you can see the effects it has on seo.

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