[Important] Semi-Hidden Footer Backlink Served To Google Crawlers

Today I got a call from our SEO guy yelling at me “Please SSH into the production server and remove the Powered by Discourse link from the footer”.

After digging and tracing, I’ve discovered a link that is hidden from us (Regular Users) and served to Google crawlers (and other search engines naturally as follows:


You can check your cached version through Google search or just use the URL inspector tool (HTML version not screenshot) to reproduce that.

Well, as a supporter and Patreon for Discourse, I don’t see any problem regarding that, but, and a huge massive BUT, why this link is not appearing in the regular site version?

I’ll not go for endless technical SEO arguments here, let’s be as transparent as possible, please declare the link in all versions or not at all, to prevent such type of rumors:

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