Are spammed footers a Google ranking factor?

Published: January 16, 2019

Yes, according to the official statement cited below, spammed footers or site templates (i.e. WordPress themes) are part of what Google considers “link schemes”, and such footers will negatively affect your search engine visibility:

“Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate our guidelines: Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites” source