The company was a large enterprise who have many subsidiary companies who manage their own websites independently but every website has a link in the header pointing to the main corporate site.
With all that’s been written recently about the wrong types of links harming rankings they wanted to know if these links would hold them back in Google’s listings.
The answer is no.
Having links like this are not going to harm you or in truth, help your rankings. They are not spam so you’re fine to use them but Google is probably clever enough to realise that these links are there and most probably ignores them.
There are many genuine reasons to have the same links in the footer or header of a site, like the company I was talking to, they were a subsidiary but links could point to corporate terms and conditions or policies. It could even be a link to the site in a different language on a different domain.
Consistent footer and header links throughout a site are probably not going to help you but they won’t harm you so you’re safe to use them. If you are worried about these links then add the nofollow tag to them which makes Google ignore them as ranking links.
As always don’t go mad with links and have too many of them, only put them there for a genuine reason. As soon as you add links to try and increase your rankings you could be on dodgy ground.
If you want to understand how to SEO your own website and protect against penalties then book a days SEO training.
And finally, I always like to take photo’s of cool things I see on my way to training sessions or talks so here’s one from this morning.