35 replies
Hi,

How do you get rid of the footprints that Google will punish your site for by using free wordpress templates to build a site ? I heard that using artisteer and building your own wp site is an answer. Are there any other answers ?

Thanks.
#footprints #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author danemorgan
    I had blogs do just fine that I used the default theme with. "footprints" aren't an issue with things like WordPress, because the underlying purpose of WordPress is not to manipulate search results in the way that a program like, just off the top of my head Traffic Hurricane is designed for. If you're using something like that footprints become an issue, but WordPress, SMF, Drupal, Jomla and the like it's a non issue.

    That said, as a WordPress guy who's been doing custom themes for people for a lon time and just recently decided to start releasing premium themes, I'm all in favor of people spending money on WordPress themes. My themes won't have any footprints.
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    • Profile picture of the author NPmaster
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      • Profile picture of the author danemorgan
        Originally Posted by NPmaster View Post

        Thats a great response lol

        Will you be using such software as artisteer that he talks of?
        Nope. I do my themes by hand. I do keep a functions and snippet library in my HTMLkit editor though.
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        • Profile picture of the author StoneWilson
          Originally Posted by danemorgan View Post

          Nope. I do my themes by hand. I do keep a functions and snippet library in my HTMLkit editor though.
          You mean, don't powered by wordpress?
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          • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
            The only time I would worry about using free wordpress templates is if it includes links/keywords/content that might not be the most appropriate.

            I have noticed some have links to adult sites, sites that are getting marked as "attack sites" etc.

            Of hundreds of free wordpress templates I have used, only one ever had negative results for the reason I just mentioned above.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
    Originally Posted by keblack View Post

    Hi,

    How do you get rid of the footprints that Google will punish your site for by using free wordpress templates to build a site ? I heard that using artisteer and building your own wp site is an answer. Are there any other answers ?

    Thanks.
    I've never known or heard of Google to punishing a blog because it uses a free wordpress template - where did you uncover this odd piece of information?

    The only time footprints are a problem is when you are into blackhat site building and you're trying to cover your tracks so there's no link between different tier sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrsencio
    Never heard of such a thing, and never been affected by using free templates either.
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  • Profile picture of the author GavinLively
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    Oi Vey! The "footprint" theory (myth) circa 2004 resurfaces....

    I would not worry about "footprints" while using wordpress... unless you are trying to build a worthless splog

    Gavin
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    • Profile picture of the author danemorgan
      Originally Posted by GavinLively View Post

      Oi Vey! The "footprint" theory (myth) circa 2004 resurfaces....

      I would not worry about "footprints" while using wordpress... unless you are trying to build a worthless splog

      Gavin
      Well, even if you are building a splog, "footprints" won't hurt you. they might even lend you a helping hand for a little while.
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  • Profile picture of the author keblack
    I was actually told that free WP templates have a footprint by an extremely successful internet Guru and he advised to buy Artisteer, not giving out an affiliate link or anything. I think what he might mean is that many people would be using the same theme and thus the same headers in the WP template and I guess somehow Google doesn't like that or something else ? This person says he has tested it, so WP themes that are created and not the same as others might do better in Google. I have some very good blogs that are not going any where for some reason with very good original content, but maybe it just takes time and tons of content and RSS links.
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    • Profile picture of the author nick1123
      Originally Posted by keblack View Post

      I was actually told that free WP templates have a footprint by an extremely successful internet Guru and he advised to buy Artisteer,
      Sorry but I would be a little skeptical of someone telling me to pass up a free template b/c of this footprint thing and then to additionally spend money on a different one.

      I think this is myth. Focus on giving people great content and a reason to come back to your blog. I think the design and usability of your blog is 1000x more important than this footprint thing.

      /2 cents
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      • Profile picture of the author danemorgan
        Originally Posted by nick1123 View Post

        Sorry but I would be a little skeptical of someone telling me to pass up a free template b/c of this footprint thing and then to additionally spend money on a different one.

        I think this is myth. Focus on giving people great content and a reason to come back to your blog. I think the design and usability of your blog is 1000x more important than this footprint thing.

        /2 cents
        A little skeptical he says....
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  • Profile picture of the author JayStarr
    some guys just make up this 'footprints' bogus theory to pimp some products that errase these footprints.. dont worry about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Kingston
      If Google were punishing WP for footprints half the net would be de-indexed (97% in the IMiverse).

      Don't worry about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author sachibhat
    Google loves wordpress blogs.
    They wont punish you
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    it's bogus... I would not worry about it at all. the only footprints to be concerned about are BH guys who use programs that spit out thousands upon thousands of pages over night (and they aren't wordpress).
    Frankly, if I heard a guru say this, I would be concerned about how valid his other opinions were.
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    -Jason

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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    google could really care less about the theme you use, just have good content. By the time IMers have worried about an SEO issue, I think Google is 3 steps ahead. From my experience they love wordpress. I think its because wordpress has natural seo out of the box. Use a plugin like all in one SEO or headspace2, and a sitemap plugin and/or xml plugin and you will make it even more enticing for the search engines. Make it easy for them and they will reward you. then just build links like there is no tomorrow.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Kingston
      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      .... then just build links like there is no tomorrow.
      Thats the money phrase right there people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Alexander
    yeah, it's nonsense. Using popular wordpress templates is pretty much the best way to 'hide in the crowd' that there is.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      The only rational thing I can think of that might lead someone to this idea is using a very code-heavy theme with very little content. A spider encountering a site with 1,000 "words" (most of which are identical html and css styling) with only a handful of words changing on each page might see that as duplicate content and penalize that.

      In this case, it would have nothing to do with whether the theme is used with WP or not. It would have everything to do with being a poorly constructed theme, or pages without enough content.
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      • Profile picture of the author zoomsixx
        Welcome to the panda update. The word is that a lot of sites hit are Wordpress sites. I'm considering switching to a different blog platform. I just did a search for a niche I lost massive placement in. 9 of the 10 spots were not Wordpress or any other common CMS. I think one was Joomla. Before I would say that 6 out of 10 were. Seems Google thinks Wordpress is just another spammers tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author nasuryono
    Not sure who gave you that advice but they are wrong.

    I have several sites using free WP themes and they are ranking high on the organic SERP.

    Some even take the first place.

    Don't listen to them and start building sites.

    -Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
      If all your blogs are not performing then you can be very sure it's NOT from a free wordpress theme template.

      Might just be horrible looking template?

      It could be anything without knowing exactly what the blogs are. but if you are consistantly creating underperforming blogs then you are likely repeating the same mistakes.

      If by underperforming you mean you do not get many searches from Google then look at your content and keywords, look at your on-site SEO and your backlinks.

      Just type in your main keywords into Google and look at the sites that are in the top ten results.

      What do they look like? What interesting content do they offer? What backlinks do they have?

      If you want to share that page 1 you will have to emulate (or beat) those top ten players.

      Forget about footprints - it's holding you back from doing what's needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leslie B
    You can use free themes without any problem, as long as you check them for malicious codes. Very easy to do, just install and activate the TAC plugin and it'll check your theme. If no problems are found, you're good to go

    ON another note, the free themes you can find on wordpress.org (the ones you can find through your wp-adming), they are safe

    Leslie
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    Taking it one day at a time!
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  • Profile picture of the author corsleymaxwell
    Yeah! they will not be punished you if you are not are spammer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Lindsay
    This only becomes an issue when its being abused.

    Usually the other way around....

    AKA "sponsoring" too many wordpress themes with the same links on the bottom footer.

    Like anything, too much of one thing is going to bring unwanted attention too you when it comes to SEO.

    Unless its high quality content, then there is no such thing as too much

    Marc
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  • Profile picture of the author ThrillerAuthor
    Artisteer-generated WP sites leave footprints of their own too...
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  • Profile picture of the author zoomsixx
    I think the issue with the Google panda update is templates that have a heavy footprint. That's what I keep reading everywhere. I'm trying to get a grasp on what exactly that means and how to prevent it. I will share what I find here.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by zoomsixx View Post

      I think the issue with the Google panda update is templates that have a heavy footprint. That's what I keep reading everywhere. I'm trying to get a grasp on what exactly that means and how to prevent it. I will share what I find here.
      When people talk about certain templates having a 'heavy footprint', they mean that the template contains bits of code, scripts, tags, etc. that identify that template. You can change cosmetics, switch out the graphics, etc., but it is still that template.

      By itself, the footprint isn't a big issue. If it were, the thousands of blogs running on the default theme wouldn't have a chance.

      The trouble comes when the footprint is associated with undesirable behavior. For example, look at the fake news splogs. You know the ones - they try to look like a newspaper page, and they use a script to make the headline call out the town your ISP is located in to make it look like a local story. The spammers who posted thousands of those splogs used the same theme, so it was quickly associated with those splogs.

      Any time that template was identified, the sites were delisted.

      The same thing happened to the software-generating MFA scraper sites. They left a footprint that became associated with garbage content, so Google started delisting any site with that footprint as fast as they could identify them.

      You prevent it by giving Google what it wants and avoiding questionable methods. In other words, if you don't want the hunters shooting at you, don't run around flapping your wings and quacking like a duck...
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    wow - this thread is from 09!!

    No wonder I didn't remember posting on it
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    -Jason

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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    That zoomsixx guy is the guilty one: for some unknown reason from time to time he revives this thread with nonsense posts...
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  • Profile picture of the author zoomsixx
    Wasn't trying to bump old irreverent posts. I was looking into issues with heavy footprints being an issue with Panda. A Google search came up with this post so blame them. I guess they didn't consider old forum posts when it came to their update. Either way I got some good info from this. Even if it was started in 09.
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