The Best Practice to Put Our Backlink in Client own Site Footer

Hi, I've read different opinions on this. As web design/SEO agency, can we put our link in our client's site footer? "Site designed by ABC Company"
If yes, what are the best practices?
16 👍🏽16
41 💬🗨

Serves no purpose to the business for which the site was built in most cases, so I will play the bad guy and say it's a bad practice. You shouldn't be getting your links from your customers.

Gee » Kafka
Why not? We get clicks all the time from our signature. I think its a great way to get more business and the best thing is its 100% free.
If the client allows it we put it otherwise we remove it.
Kafka » Gee
Are you no following the link? Are you informing them of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pros and cons of linking to an irrelevant site? Or of a site wide link, which these usually are.
From Google's perspective, does this link help the intended user in any way? If not, I hope you're giving them a discount or paying for the otherwise free advertising.
Gee » Kafka
Yes recently been using no follow on our signature, I know it has no real SEO benefits for us however we do get clients coming through.
Kafka » Gee
Right, I'm asking about your customers, what value does it provide them and their users, you getting customers from their site
Gee » Kafka
So? Whats the big deal? If they are happy with our signature at the bottom who's it hurting??
Kafka » Gee
Them, if you failed to educate them. How are you not understanding this? It seems harmless, but it's tacky and likely irrelevant.
Gee » Kafka
Educate them about what. I have no idea what this conversation is about or what your trying to get at.
1 – we use no follow
2 – client has no issue about adding a signature
3 – it doesn't harm the sites rankings
4 – we get business from it.
What's the big deal? Get to the point

Ammon Johns 🎓
Google's guidelines on this are a lot, lot clearer than most want to admit. Any link that is on a site because of a professional or paid arrangement is a sponsored link, and should be marked accordingly. A link for being the designer of a site, on the site built, absolutely is a sponsored link.
The one special wrinkle to Footer Links is the history of spam abuse and penalties. There were a number of years where all manner of widgets, platforms, and hosting and design companies *forced* a link into the footer. At one time, virtually every install of WordPress would have at least one, and usually several, on every page, inserted by the themes, the widgets, etc.
Then of course the link spammers and sellers moved in, and Google acted. Widespread bans and penalties. To the extent that even now, years and years later, the legend of avoiding footer links remains, for the MASSIVE amount of companies hurt by penalties.
That part about how widespread it was, how widely and thoroughly Google detected it to apply penalties is the part to note above all others.
You see, today, Google's preferred treatment is to simply ignore spammy links, treating them as if nofollowed, or even as if disavowed. So, those footer links are today unlikely to hurt you.
They are also unlikely to help you much.
But the most important consideration is the one I just said to note. You see, if Google change their mind, as they have so often, on so many things, they don't have to ask your permission, or give you any warning. If they want to switch back to penalties, they can do so by changing a few lines of code, in moments, without warning.
Is that a vulnerability that you, or your clients, are happy with and consider a fair trade off for whatever they think the link is doing for them?
When you answer that question, on risk versus reward, you are thinking like an SEO

Martin ✍️ » Ammon Johns
Does this mean that we can still go with it but keep in mind that we might get penalized if Google updates?
Btw, we were getting paid last contract with them, but now, we will be handling their site for free, so we were thinking of this link from them.
Thank you for the information!
Matt » Ammon Johns
Bro I noticed not all countries are applied same rules. Some countries you can still spam and benefit. I think not all patents are apliable to every country the same.
what's your opinion on this because not everyone is working in English language.
that means we can't generalize each guideline (patent) ..?
Ammon Johns 🎓 » Matt
Patents have nothing to do with it. You're the only one who brought patents into it – this was a matter of algorithm updates and spam penalties. People from every corner of the globe were in the SEO forums saying they'd been hit. Sites that had been topping very competitive Search Engine Result Page (SERP) spots for years suddenly were unable to be found for any search but their own domain name.
Truslow 🎓 » Matt
All countries are applied the same rules. The difference is… for sites in English, there are 100's or 1000's of other sites going – so a little thing like that can drop you back 20 pages.
For other languages, there are less sites – and these "some" countries you speak of are almost certainly going to be ones with even fewer than most.
So now where there are really only a dozen decent contenders for something and you hit the same thing, the worst that can happen is you're on page 2 – and most likely, it's just a few positions worth of dropping. If they dropped you any further, they'd be putting sites with different languages, different topics, or just totally irrelevant things up top.
No matter what you do – relevance to your audience is always going to be the most important thing.


The way to go is to keep this link in the footer, but make it internal to another page of the website you wrote. In this page, use the semantic of the keywords you want to rank for as a "case study" (how we helped [client name] increase their organic traffic for example).
You will need the approval of the client and this can be the tricky part but i can guarantee the results will be better than with a footer link.
What I typically do is create two footers where the home page footer has all follow links and the second footer is for the rest of the site and all links are nofollow.
For a personal link I'll create a "Resources" page and link to it from the home page footer.
On the resources page I'll add my logo and a paragraph of text with a text link to my site.
That's also where the client can link to any resources they'd like as well.
As for "value", I think it does provide at least indirect value in that someone liking the design – or recognizing effective SEO – may need help for his or her business and may find it useful.
There is no accurate answer for this. Google doesn't penalize you for just adding links to your agency on client sites. If that was the case, every theme developer would have been penalized.
That being said, if it works for you, it works for you.
I personally would have advertised my services the same way but after getting permission from the clients.

Kristine » Sharjeel
Google actually can penalize the links if it looks like you're trying to artificially inflate your website by linking off your client sites. You can put a link but it needs to be no followed.
Sharjeel » Kristine
That's something subjective. If you have any client who was actually penalized just for putting links in footer, then we have a reason. Otherwise, the same can be said for Guest posts and forum links where you are only vouching for dofollows.
And, no it is not necessary to mention the link as nofollowed. Google said that itself, it is smart enough to differentiate.
Kristine » Sharjeel
That is just untrue.
Sharjeel » Kristine
Like I said, subjective answers don't have any value unless we have data for that.
Was any of your client or your site penalized for doing this practice?


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