I’ve mentioned a few times on here that I’m not a fan of companies that put a “designed by” link in the footer of websites that they create. Google clearly says not to do it, and putting a link there is entirely for the (misguided) advantage of the designer, to the detriment of the site they stick their link on.
One reaction that I sometimes hear about this is that it’s “like an artist signing their painting”, and that the customer should be proud to have worked with that agency. It’s an interesting concept, but I disagree on a few counts:
- It’s not helping the client site to sell more of their product. No one is going to visit the site, consider making a purchase, see “designed by Acme” in the footer, and then decide that they’re reputable enough to trust.
- A signature on a painting increases the value of it, while a link in the footer doesn’t.
- Not only does a footer link fail to increase the value of the site, it actually decreases the value.
I’m noticing that this happens less and less frequently, which is fantastic, but it’s still not acceptable when it does. If you have a “designed by” link at the bottom of your site, you should try to determine if the company that did it is either ignorant of how search engines work, or if they’re shady enough to be ripping you off.