Nobody wants random unrelated links in his footer, but that’s how you end up if you decide to use free themes from SMThemes. Lets fix the SEO and get rid of the crap.
1) Delete everything unwanted from your footer.php file (you will get a red bar at the bottom of the page, complaining that you need to add back the removed links)
2) Open up js/smthemes.js and search for the name of any of the original footer links. For example I got a link to http://www.signalboostersuk.co.uk/. Search for ‘signalboostersuk’. Select the entire block of code containing array of words and pipes, from opening to closing quote mark. Delete all that, and leave nothing but the quote marks. Here are some screenshots to orientate you better.
3) Delete buttons.png which can be found at inc/images. Seriously, I don’t have an idea why this in necessary, but just do it.
I’ve just cleared 3 themes like this by now. Two of them were completely random (Glance, Pop Art) and where two of the latest on Smthemes web site. Most probably the guys from SMThemes will change their strategy and make better encryption when they find this post. I don’t think this technique will work in the near future.
There is a file license.txt stating the following:
All the themes released at SMThemes.com are property and owned by SMThemes.com. All of them are licensed under the creative commons license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Creative Commons or CC means that you are free to:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
Should you be using themes from SMThemes
SMThemes provide interactive, easy to customize and quite rich in design themes. Yet, the code is fishy (bad coding practices besides the validation for the footer links), there is no support even if they write the contrary, there is no refund after you make a purchase. Please, use approved by the WordPress community sources. There are plenty of free minimalistic themes that you can build on top of in order to have a fast (performance wise) end product.
I’ve spent many hours searching for a way to remove those links. I tried changing the code, but without any result. It’s still unclear to me, how buttons.png has a role in the entire validation and probably I would have never figured it out by myself. However, you read this solution thanks to a Russian user (Stasfree) from Black Hat World forum who shared his findings from another web site.
!10.05.2015 – Update: I’m not going to take anymore requests for cleaning footer links. If you can’t do it from the first time, re-read the post and try again. In any case – try to avoid free themes from SMThemes or any other place that’s not WordPress.org and seems suspicious. You expose your web sites and clients to security risks as you don’t know what other code might be present in those themes. Use starts/builder themes and learn how to code, but don’t give WordPress a bad name!