What are your thoughts on having links to other pages of my web site at the bottom of each of my web pages? Will this help or hurt our rankings? Is this a more outdated practice?
Including Links within a site wide footer is a fairly common practice that has been around for a long time – and in fact has seen a bit of a resurgence in the designs of a lot of Web 2.0 sites.
Providing you are sensible in the use of these types of links they should help, rather than hurt your rankings. In many cases the footer provides a logical place to provide links to the main sections of your site – and also allows you to include search engine friendly text based (and keyword rich) anchor text.
Footer links can make it easier for users to navigate your site – without having to scroll back to the top of the page. However, I recommend that you use footer links in moderation – I suggest a maximum of a dozen or so. If there are too many (particularly if they are heavily keyword optimised) they can start to look spammy (to search engines as well as users) and may start to have a negative impact on rankings and conversions.
Google has also suggested that you should try and limit the number of links per page to a maximum of about 100. If you have a large number of links in your page footers this could become an issue.
As a general rule, if it’s good for your users it will be good for search rankings. If you are thinking of doing anything to your site primarily for the benefit of the search engines rather than your users, then you should think long and hard before going ahead with it.
Ireckon Web Marketing