Have you ever seen a webpage, and it looked complete…even with a nice footer navigation. Then, you just happened to scroll a little further down the page and saw something like this. Keyword stuffing. Text and links that are similar to the page background color. It definitely has a flavor of spam. Or, blackhat-ish SEO.
Is the website just trying to enhance your user experience, and ability to quickly navigate their site? Or, is this a more cynical SEO technique designed to trick the Search Engines. Or, maybe a little of both?
Some people will not notice the scroll bar on the browser, because the actual webpage looks complete. Most users won’t scroll. And very few look at the right top of the browser to check the scroll bar. Usability studies have shown that most people don’t pay attention to everything on the screen. They try to process only the information they consider useful. So, if the page looks complete with the footer visible ( but nothing under the footer is visible), then there is no reason for the user to scroll. And, it’s fairly obvious that the extra content below the footer is to trick the search engines.
People also tend not to look at the bottom of a screen unless they have a reason to do so. So, should that be an SEO opportunity?
Another “below the footer” SEO technique is to place content under the footer navigation. Again, the question…is it for humans, or search engines. Here is one example and here is another example. In my opinion, this SEO technique has less a flavor of spam, and more of poor usability.
E-commerce sites make the best use of their target keyword phrase when they use it in the textual hyperlink to describe an image. Instead of the more questionable SEO techniques above, that require scrolling beyond the footer navigation.