website tramp stamp

Did A Web Designer Slap This ‘Tramp Stamp’ On Your Website’s Bottom?

This is a BIG pet peeve of ours when it comes to websites.

One many website owners and web designers don’t even realize could potentially be harmful to a site.

We call it a website’s Tramp Stamp.

How many times have you gone to a site, and when you look at the very bottom, you see “Website Designed by ‘The We’re So Awesome’ Agency”?

Most times, it’s subtle… just the agency’s name and a link to their site.

Sometimes the design firm is a bit bolder and adds their logo to the mix.

Recently we came across the most obnoxious website Tramp Stamp we’ve ever done seen online.

This agency slapped a full-blown banner across the entire bottom of their client’s site.

It looked like a lead gen form with the agency’s logo and “Big Dumb Agency LLC 2022. Website and Digital Marketing by Big Dumb Agency” plastered on it.

(BTW, this agency just got fired for unbelievably overcharging the client for 0 results… which methinks says something about agencies who would put something like this on a site!)

No matter how subtle or obnoxious they are, these Tramp Stamps have no place on your website.

9 times out of 10, when we point one out to a client, they didn’t even know it was there.

Even fewer clients (or web designers, for that matter) know why it’s a bad idea to have one on your site.

So let’s dive into it and discover why you need to perform a Website Tramp Stamp-ectomy (trademarked – you heard it here first!!) if you have one on your site.

First, a website Tramp Stamp almost always links back to the design firm’s website.

And that link is passing all your hard-earned SEO link juice to the web developer’s site, which can be VERY valuable to them.

Quality backlinks cost $100s, if not $1000s. This is something the design firm should be paying you for (or at least giving you a big discount on their services for).

After you’ve paid your developer $1000s to design your site, why should they get $1000s more worth of linking on top of that – for free?!

Second, those links to your web design company’s site (on every page of your site, no less) could potentially cause SEO issues for you.


If you read Google’s guidelines about good quality sites, they say you want external links (links pointing from your site to others) that link to sites with similar content to yours.

So, if your health or pet or beauty site points to a web design site, that’s not bueno.

It was thought Google used to penalize sites for having links like this. But their algorithms have gotten smarter over time, and these links may not hurt your site from an SEO perspective.

But even if your site doesn’t get penalized, why keep an external link – leading to a website that has nothing to do with yours – that doesn’t serve your best interests in any way, shape or form?

Why even risk the potential of Google’s automated algorithm not seeing that link for what it is and potentially causing issues for your site’s rankings?

And what if Google – who’s been known to change their algorithms, rules, etc. once or twice over the years (that’s sarcasm, folks! 😉 – decides they’re going to start penalizing sites with external links in their footers?

The risks simply aren’t worth it.

Bottom line here is these spammy, promotional links on your site are just bad form.

Yeah, it’s great the web design firm is proud of its work. But that doesn’t make it okay for them to carve out space on the site you paid for to promote their company.

Would you tolerate your home builder slapping a banner with their name and phone number all over your home?

Your site should be 100% focused on your biz and the products or services you sell.

You shouldn’t be hocking other people’s stuff unless you have some sort of affiliate relationship with them or got a discount for their services in exchange for them putting their promotion on your site.

So for all you biz owners, execs, etc. reading this… go check your site now.

If you have a Tramp Stamp there, we highly, highly recommend getting a Website Tramp Stamp-ectomy. (Unless you got a discount from the design firm in exchange for it.)

Otherwise, dump it. It’s a quick and painless procedure.

If you’re a web designer and are proud of the sites you build, that’s great. But the way to show your pride is to feature them on your website, not by putting your Tramp Stamp on clients’ sites.

And if you do use them, at least be upfront and tell clients what you want to do. Explain the potential risks. And, if you really want one on a site, offer a discount for your services to the client if they agree to let you put one there.

Otherwise, a Website Tramp Stamp is just tacky. It’s rude. It’s just bad form.

So please help us spread the word about this issue to make the web a better place!

If you know a biz owner who has one on their site…

… or a web designer who puts them on client’s sites…

… share this with them so we can all work together to stamp out website Tramp Stamps!

Featured image: “The girl put the tramp stamp on the boy.” by scottfeldstein is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Chris C
Chris C

Chris has been in the SEO world since 1999. He's created and executed cutting-edge online marketing strategies Fortune 500 companies, major trade organizations and wide range of other businesses. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting and is also oddly quite fond of orangutans.