Attribution Links in Clients' Footers

lincolnchan

LocalU Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2020
Messages
14
Hi friends,

I wanted to get people's opinion on putting attribution links on your clients' websites in the footer. (i.e. Website design by.... or Digital Marketing by...). I know people have been doing this since the beginning of time but personally I'm feeling it's less and less relevant. Historically we have always made it a rel="nofollow" link but I'm not even sure if we want to do this anymore. That being said, we actually have gotten a handful of leads/clients from people clicking on those attribution links over the years so.....

The second part of the question is I frequently see agencies link to their clients' sites in blog posts, case studies etc. (usually rel="follow") almost as a freebie link for their client. Would this look sketchy to Google if they also had an attribution link in the clients' site back to them, even if it's nofollow? (reciprocal links?)

Thanks!
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,668
I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as the client is told about it. I think, as you mentioned, it can be a good source of traffic and if you're marking them as nofollow, it should be just fine.

I also don't see anything wrong with case studies. When it comes to linking to clients in blogs, I think if the article is about a case study or something you tried with a specific client, it makes sense to link them and there isn't anything unnatural about it. After all, if they're allowing you to use their story to help someone else, I would argue they deserve the link for credit/exposure.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,243
I wanted to get people's opinion on putting attribution links on your clients' websites in the footer. (i.e. Website design by.... or Digital Marketing by...). I know people have been doing this since the beginning of time but personally I'm feeling it's less and less relevant. Historically we have always made it a rel="nofollow" link but I'm not even sure if we want to do this anymore. That being said, we actually have gotten a handful of leads/clients from people clicking on those attribution links over the years so.....
My opinion: Initially, people did this hoping it would translate into backlinks for ranking. If it ever worked for this purpose, it certainly won't now. Sitewide footer links have basically zero value for SEO.

On the other hand, if you do it to expose / publicize your services, sort of like a free ad, it still has some value - not a lot but some.

As far as I know, there is no penalty for using nofollow footer links so why not? But I would still recommend that the links be nofollow.

The second part of the question is I frequently see agencies link to their clients' sites in blog posts, case studies etc. (usually rel="follow") almost as a freebie link for their client. Would this look sketchy to Google if they also had an attribution link in the clients' site back to them, even if it's nofollow? (reciprocal links?)
I don't really know the definitive answer to this but my guess would be that of the footer links are nofollow there shouldn't be a problem.

Added:

Ha! While I was posting my verbose version, @JoyHawkins speed-typed ahead of me. :)
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
402
Yeah, I wouldn't do it site wide in the footer. Instead, maybe a link from somewhere on the about page or similar page where you can insert a line: this site has been built/optimized by xyz company which is based in out of 'location'.
 

Conor Treacy

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
193
I started building websites in 1994 and since then, I've had a "designed by" designation on pretty much every website, with client permission. Then WordPress came around, and I still had the links, however I became more selective on adding the link as the client could manage the site themselves.

These days, we still add it to certain websites, usually as a no-follow. There are some websites that we don't add our link as the client completely destroyed what we made pretty :) As a result, we don't want our name associated with it. Happy for the business if a client recommends us, but since we're being judged on the live version, we have to be selective.

Case Studies and Client Showcase are a great way to show what you've done and in the desired layout that you had envisioned - always good as a reference/sample site if a client wants to see something.
 

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