During a recent webmaster hangout, Google’s John Mueller said the search engine doesn’t distinguish between internal links. They are all treated the same.
For Google, it does not matter where the link is located – in the footer/header of the page or in the content. For it, these references are equivalent in importance. Links in the footer/header have the same weight as links in the body of the page, says SearchEngines.
Meanwhile, when it comes to text, it’s different: Google distinguishes between main and auxiliary content and processes it differently. The search engine tries to understand what is the main content of the page and focuses on this content when ranking.
At the same time, internal links help to better understand the structure of the site, and where they are located – in the header/footer, in the sidebar or in the main content – does not matter, Mueller explained.
NIXSolutions notes athat you can listen to the question to Muller and his answer to it starting from the 45:09 mark on the video.