Feb 2, 2009
In SEO (search engine optimization) having backlinks is very important. It is the most important thing to focus on in off-page optimization. The search engines know how many backlinks are pointing to a website and where they are coming from. The more quality backlinks that a website has the more important they look to a search engine.
In the early days of the search engines they would count every link that was pointing back to a website. Today the search engines have become much better at figuring out the relevancy and popularity of a website.
One of the common things that webmasters used to do was to have links in footers that would all count for backlinks or another spot is in the blogroll lists on blogs. Then what would happen is all of these links would be on every page of the website or on every post of the website thus as the website or blog got bigger that would make more backlinks.
This type of link is called a Run of Site Link because it is in the same place throughout the entire website. That used to work in the early days but does not work anymore.
The search engines can detect these Run of Site Links and will only count a Run of Site Link as only one link instead of 5o if you have 50 pages on your website. So that does beg the question of why should you put links in your footer or in your blogroll? The most important reason is you can have keywords in your footer or in your blogroll a lot easier than in your navigation bar. This does give the search engines something to read other than just Home for a page. Plus having these type of links can help in the navigation for a user on top of the navigation bar.
Remember the next time you are placing links in places that will show up throughout the site in the same place that it does its job for both a great keyword link and a navigation link. Do not overdo your footer with a bunch of keyword links thinking that you are going to get credited with a bunch of links. The search engines are smarter than that in this day and age.
If you do want to place some keyword links in the footer or in the blogroll make sure you put the main ones that you want for seo reasons combined with the most helpful to users.