Google always looking out the standard design and content of the website but then sad to say Google start to devalue the forum signature with hyperlink and also of web page footer (located in the footer). Lots of web sites offer to sell a link to buy a link from the footer of the web page.
The big impact is the first anchor footer textlink, and the other footer links google davalue those links. As you see the other website in the footer, a lot of links but those link is not in own domain its from another site. So, the expert or developer said the search engines are likely not to have desired impact.