Q and A: Are site wide footer links OK for SEO?


Hey Kalena,

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 Is this a more outdated practice?

Thanks! -Lisa

Hi Lisa,

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.

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A : Is there anything I can do to improve the chance of Google displaying sitelinks for my site?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I’d love to have Sitelinks shown when people search for my site on Google. Is there anything I can do to improve the chance of Google displaying sitelinks for my site?


Dear Matthew

Shirley has also asked about this, so hopefully the following information will help answer both your queries.

To borrow a quote from Google’s Webmasters/Site owners Help about sitelinks:

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.

From this we can take two important points – firstly, you need a good, SEO-friendly navigation / architecture for your site.

Assuming you know about sitelinks and are reading an SEO blog, you’d most likely already have this in place… so the second thing to work on is convincing Google your site is useful.

There are two main ways to accomplish this:

  1. By focusing on building good deep links to your most important internal pages
  2. By increasing the click-through rate (and reducing the bounce rate) to the pages you want to have as a sitelink

One way to improve the click-through rates, deep link to a few of your pages and convince the big G which pages are the most important is by putting a strong call-to-action on your homepage’s body content and then linking to each of these core pages.

Even with all this, there’s still no guarantees that you’ll get sitelinks, but it should help.

If anyone else has any advice or feedback about sitelinks, let us know in the comments.


Peter Newsome
SiteMost Search Engine Optimisation