The footer of the website describes the lowest area of a website, which is mostly the same across all pages of the domain. For a long time, footer links have been used by website operators to improve the ranking results of their website. When using footer links, website operators should note that this measure is now rated as spam by search engines such as Google and punished accordingly.
STRUCTURE AND APPLICATION OF FOOTER
A website can usually be divided into three areas: the header, the body, and the footer. While the header often contains elaborate graphics and navigation, the body contains the entire content. Due to the small size, however, information about the website operator and the content is stored in the footer. Depending on the orientation of the website, you will also find information on the imprint and general terms and conditions. Similar to the header, the footer can be divided into two levels: the footer and the sub-footer. As a rule, these two levels differ in color from the body in order to signal to the user that this is additional information and no longer website content. Many website managers also use the footer area to set a call-to-action (CTA), for example, for registering for the newsletter or to embed quality seals such as trusted shops. Cross-channel links to social networks are also often placed at the bottom of the website.
There is a separate element in the specifications of the HTML5 standard. This is an element that is assigned to the next, higher dividing content and is to be regarded as the footer of this content. You can read our Semantic HTML Article to learn more.
It doesn’t matter where the dividing content, such as an element, is on the page. It is entirely possible to define a <footer> for the <body> of the HTML document and also add a <footer> to other elements, such as a <div>.
FOOTER AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR SEO
In addition, the footer is particularly interesting with regard to search engine optimization (SEO). The landing page of a website is usually the page with the most incoming external links and thus produces the most link juice. In order to pass this link power to the subpages as effectively and sustainably as possible, many website operators place internal incoming links in the footer. The use of footer links also supports the work of web crawlers in the context of indexing.
However, the excessive use of footer links is rated as spam according to the Google Webmaster Guidelines and is subject to a corresponding penalty. When using footer links, website operators should take into account that they do not contribute to the usability of the website, but only support the crawlers in indexing the website. With regard to the constant development of crawlers, it is questionable whether footer links will still be necessary for the future.
However, the vast majority of websites do not yet use these further subdivision options. Therefore, when talking about the footer, it is usually the content that is displayed at the bottom of the page.