Today we are going to talk about a topic that has been controversial for some years now. The issue is whether it is appropriate or not for a designer or developer to leave a credit link to their own website on the client’s website. To address this, it is important to review several aspects.

Let’s start with the SEO of a website. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to a set of techniques implemented to improve the ranking of a website in search engines.

Among the most widely used search engines is Google, which uses the PageRank scoring system to evaluate websites. This system assigns a score from 1 to 10 based on various factors, including incoming and outgoing links.

With this in mind, there is a widespread belief that the credit link placed on the client’s website (usually in the footer) will negatively affect their SEO, while greatly benefiting the SEO of the developer’s website. In addition, it has been said that developers are dishonest when they do this and that it is part of a previously elaborated plan.

To this we must say that this is not true. Not all development agencies are the same, and the practice of placing a link in the footer of the client’s website should not affect their SEO if done correctly.

However, based on our own experience, we have found that some companies are not comfortable with the practice of a credit link, even if their main activity is not related to technology. Based on this, we can give the following recommendations:

  • It is important to speak with the client at the beginning of the project and ask them if they would agree to place a credit link as the developer of their site.
  • Add value to this practice, in our case we offer our clients periodic reviews and security updates free of charge.
  • If the client agrees, add the nofollow attribute to the link, which according to theory would make this link invisible. That is, Google’s PageRank would not take it into account when evaluating the score of the client’s website. This is why their SEO would not be affected.
  • Use a small (non-invasive) icon for the link, so that only those interested in learning more about the development agency behind the design can find it.

Although the client pays for the development of their website, this does not give them copyright ownership of the development itself. There are an infinite number of developers who, like us, perform a craftwork, providing a creative and completely personalized design, so receiving credit for our work would be fair.

An example that can help understand the matter is the following: imagine you buy an art painting. Although you are the buyer of the painting, you cannot remove the artist’s signature. This would not be ethical and, in addition, it is precisely the signature that adds value to the painting. The same happens with the credit link on the client’s website. Giving credit to the developer for their creative work is a way to promote their work, which will allow them to reach more potential clients.

In conclusion, leaving a credit link on the client’s website should not negatively affect their SEO if done correctly. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with the client at the beginning of the project and offer added value in return. Using the nofollow attribute on the link and a small icon can also help to alleviate any concerns from the client. By being transparent, we can maintain a healthy working relationship where both parties benefit.

Thank you for reading, until next time.