Nofollowing the branded footer link

Sitebee

New member
Hey, first post here in the Xenforo community. I've had my eye on Xenforo for a couple of years now. Recently made the jump and purchased a license.

I have a question that I'm guessing has probably been asked in the past. It is in regards to the sitewide Xenforo branded footer link. As it stands it is a sitewide (script wide) link is a followable link, meaning it can pass link equity. I'm not comfortable with a sitewide followable link on my site, I'm more comfortable with it being a nofollow attribute or even one of the newer UGC/sponsored link attribute.

So my question is, would I be in breach of the license terms if I use Google Tag Manager custom HTML to append the hyperlink? adding in rel="sponsored" ? I don't have the "$250 you guys are asking for the branding removal. I think that it is a reasonable compromise.

My rationale behind this, is that Google can be very finicky when it comes to sitewide links. I have seen them treated in different ways over the years. Especially developer sitewide branded links. If an algorithm tweak rolls out further down the line addressing sitewide links, possibly the source rather than the destination. Which is totally feasible. I don't think it is fair for your customers to be on the receiving end, impacted negatively through no fault of their own.

Personally, from experience too. I would envision you Xenforo guys would receive an uplift in organic search visibility yourselves if you tweaked your policy to nofollow your branded link. That could lead to increased sales.

I have access to tools that helped me inform my question, I've been a search professional for a number of years now too. I have some data below, I'll annotate them.

1, AHREFS topline data. A large portion of your traffic comes from the United States.
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2, Search Metrics Research Cloud - for a website with ~14.6k refering domains. I would have expected a SEO visibility score 10+ times that. That is really. really low.
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3, AHREFs - backlinks by type for Xenforo.com, link profiles with above say 60%-70% can look unnatural to Google. Xenforo.com is almost 100% dofollow links. Read the case study in this post: https://www.semrush.com/blog/are-nofollow-links-actually-good-for-seo-here-is-proof/ I would also recommend that you read this: https://ahrefs.com/blog/nofollow-links/ (I've met the blogger and a SEO event)

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4, AHREFS - top referring anchors (a lot of outdated scripts out there)
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So back to my original point. Forcing followable links on your customers could be impacting on their organic search visibility, and most probably your own. I don't think it is fair to force the followable link. You should give customers the option to nofollow the link.
 
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Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
So my question is, would I be in breach of the license terms if I use Google Tag Manager custom HTML to append the hyperlink? adding in rel="sponsored" ?
The copyright cannot be changed in any way unless the branding removal option is purchased.
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
You're also worrying about pretty much nothing.

Google ignores/discounts most sitewide footer links, follow or nofollow. This has been true for some time now.

And I've never heard of anyone being penalized for having links to the forum software in the footer of a forum (or in other popular platforms).
 

Sitebee

New member
The copyright cannot be changed in any way unless the branding removal option is purchased.

I understand. Worth asking the question though. It's a small sacrifice for such a wonderful script. Maybe after Xmas when funds aren't so tight I will pickup the branding removal upgrade.
 

Harvey

Active member
As an SEO, I thought about this too. You had to assume that with all the thought that goes into XF that this was not an oversight or coincidence.

The software was $165 and the link removal is $300. Sounds like they are pretty serious about it.

Be happy it's an option. If you don't have the money to opt out of it, and they just included that in the price, you wouldn't be on XF at all.
 
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