Links are still an essential part of SEO, but unfortunately Google does not like links located on the bottom of our clients’ sites, which link to our portfolio. Google wants us to mark those links as NOFOLLOW, which takes away juice from the link.
The best links are those which are incorporated into the text, not existing only as a stand alone link. So, over the last few months I started doing this trick and saw a significant improvement in my search engine ranking.
Instead of providing a link on the homepage “Designed by: …..” I put a link titled “Credits” which links to a separate page that explains: what CMS and programming language was used to build this site, and a few sentences about security, copyrights, and who created the site. This is about 300 words of text, into which I can naturally incorporate a link to my portfolio – as a person to contact in case of technical questions etc. This looks good for a client, who is willing to have a page like this instead of a DESIGNED BY link on the bottom of the site. Of course a link to my portfolio located in this text is a regular link, I dont need to make it nofollow. I usually make my company name a link, or a longer keyword such as “if you have any technical questions about functionality of this site you can contact a XXXXX New York web design company for more information.”
Make sure to change this copy for each client, so that it sounds unique and Google will not classify it as duplicate content.