Are These Footer Links Spammy?

links

Have you ever noticed a website with two to three odd looking footer links linking back to an SEO company and perhaps some of SEO company’s other websites? You know, the ones where someone has obviously gone out of their way optimize the anchor text on their client’s website in a way that looks a very unnatural and for the search engines only. I’m talking about the ones that look something like this:

Website Design and Search Engine Optimization services by XYZ, a Seattle SEO

What do you think when you see a website’s footer that looks like that above? I’m guessing nine times out of ten the client is annoyed by it but not saying anything.

I’m not suggesting these companies are evil for taking advantage of the opportunity. Even though I wouldn’t feel good about doing it. I’m really just curious what you think?

In the past I’ve done something simpler such as “Website Designed by Seattle Web Services”, but at this point have even chosen to remove those back links from client websites, even though I’ve been given the okay to put them there. I’ve chosen to remove the links for a couple of reasons: I don’t feel like my clients truly want them there, and I don’t want everyone to be able to easily track who my clients are and what it is exactly I am doing for them.

The reason I bring this up is because I’ve long noticed a ton of website who seem to be achieving top rankings for the targeted keywords (the ones they used as the anchor text), using this as their primary tactic for achieving rankings. Often times these companies will have extremely high Google PageRank too. And when I see many of the big-named SEO companies doing it, I have to wonder if I’m a fool for not doing it too?

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