Footer links are big blocks of links found on the bottom of web pages and more often than not, they’re there for SEO purposes. Have a look at your website, do you have lots of footer links on your pages and are they only there for SEO? If yes, do you know if they’re good or bad for your website?
It’s All About Intent
As you probably already know, Google is focused on streamlining and improving their user’s experience, so the intention behind your footer links is pretty important. I hear you asking “Why in the world would footer links make any difference to Google?”
Well, it’s because Google wants to know if you put those footer links purely for SEO, or to truly help the end-user. If the presence of your footer links make sense and they actually help the users get to where they want to go, then their objective is well-founded and Google’s search quality team will love them. And that means Google’s search engine spiders will be crawling over those links (which as creepy as that sounds, is a good thing!).
So, as you can see, it all comes down to intent. If you have heaps of footer links on every page and they have no apparent use except for keyword optimisation, then it might be a good idea to give these a second thought and maybe even remove them. Blatant SEO keywords in the footer might get you penalized if there’s no other clear reason for their existence.
So, footer links can be both good and bad for your website?
But as always, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, if you have an e-commerce site, with stacks of really helpful links on the bottom of each page pointing to popular brands, gift ideas, shipping and return policies and the like, it’s probably okay to have them. Why? Because Google will see these links as helpful or essential to the shopping experience, therefore won’t likely penalize them for being there.
Don’t get caught out
Just because there might be sites out there that still rank high despite having SEO footer links on their pages, doesn’t mean you should for the purpose of on page link building. There are likely more factors involved with their ranking, such as having really good content, a stellar whole site quality score, or maybe because a manual reviewer hasn’t seen the errors of their ways just yet.
Now that you know that footer links for SEO can be both good and bad, depending on the purpose behind them, don’t get caught out. This isn’t the time to “just wait and see” what happens, be proactive and make your site one that users will enjoy visiting and get great benefit from. Remove footer links if they’re on your pages solely for keyword optimisation purposes. But if they’re useful, then keep them on your site. By having your visitor’s experience in mind when cleaning up your site by ensuring only helpful footer links remain, then Google will more than likely be on your side when review time comes around!
If you don’t know how to assess the validity of your footer links, or can’t quite put a finger on why your site is being penalized by Google, we can help. All you have to do is get in touch with one of our SEO and marketing experts to discover what options we have available for you.