Joomla Template Links Don’t Work

One of the most interesting things about working for clients is that they’ll ask questions I don’t know the answer to. This happened last week. The question was:


"I have lots of incoming links from templates that we sell. That must help us to rank well…"


Of course, lots of companies add a link back to their own site from templates that they sell or give away. For some companies, this can add up to 1000s of incoming links. However, my immediate instinct was to say "no". That gut reaction was based on two factors:

  1. If the links did help them rank well, the client wouldn’t be talking to me
  2. Search Engines generally don’t enjoy seeing hundreds of repetitive links with the same anchor text, because they are so easy to spam.

However, I didn’t know for sure and didn’t have any evidence to back up my claims. So, in this post I’ll answer the question, "Do Joomla template links work?"


Read on and find out the answer…

The Hypothesis

Template designers who distribute their designs with a link back to their own site should be able to accumulate 100s and 1000s of links, enough to rank highly for key searchwords.

The Research

First things first, I needed to study the top ten rankings. I chose to look at one of the most important keyphrases of all: "Joomla Templates".


Websites have a check mark beside them if they distribute templates with links back to them.

{moschart id=16}

The Main Conclusion

Most of the major companies who distribute Joomla templates with links are either not listed here or barely rank well. Less than half the sites have incoming links from components on other people sites. Many of those with links and a top-10 rank have far fewer links than other companies who don’t rank.

Template links work much better in MSN than in Google or Yahoo. In Google and Yahoo we can conclude that no matter how many links you have, they are probably not going to enable you to rank well. In terms of user popularity it is reasonably easy to determine the relative levels of most template providers. Google doesn’t rank several of the most popular.


There’s no reason for template designers to remove these links from their products, because they may well provide advertising and lead people back to their site, but designers should be aware that they’ll gain little SEO benefit in Google or Yahoo.


Tomorrow, I’ll repeat this research with links from components.

Other Thoughts

  • Domain names matter greatly. Google in particular gives heavy weight to sites with both "Joomla" and "template" in their name.
  • Only two sites consistently rank well. With the exception of and, most sites only break into the top ten in one search engine.
  • Google lists more non-commercial sites. Whereas MSN list 8 sites selling commercial templates, Google has half that number.

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