This Google Webmaster video is of Matt Cutts answering the Question: Do footer links carry as much weight as links higher on the page and surrounded by content. As Google’s link analysis becomes more advanced, the search engine will assign different weight to links based on placement and HOW they are used. For example, a link placed in the body copy of good relevant content will now most likely carry more influence than an anchor text link place on the footer and displayed on every page of a website. As we know, links are one of the most important components behind a quality search engine optimization strategy. Watch the video for more details!
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