Webspam team leader Matt Cutts continues his “Grab Bag” series with a question from Boston, which goes: “Does Google treat links in footers differently than links surrounded by text?” By surrounded, the person meant something like a link embedded within a paragraph inside the main body of the page.

Matt recalls that the original Page Rank document stated that links were distributed in a totally uniform manner. This meant that PR did not depend on where the links were located across a page — up top on the header, somewhere within the body, down low in the footer, or even along the side panels. This being said, Google’s search algorithms are continuously evolving and gaining more complexity. What used to be a simple matter then may be more intricate today, as in the case of link placement.

The most current version of the algorithm may differentiate between links in footers and elsewhere, and this is due to the nature of this space. The content in the main article will have weight that is more editorial and stick closer to what the page is specifically about. Things that are written way down below in the footer are usually short and generic across the site, having no relation to the subject of the page.

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Are links in footers treated differently than paragraph links? –