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widgetbucks disobeying google guidelines

WidgetBucks – Disobeying Google Guidelines

Today, i read at Shoemoney’s blog that WidgetBucks have been penalized by Google. I tried it out myself and found it to be true. And furthermore, i used this tool to find out that they rank nowhere in the Top 1000 for both “widgetbucks” and “widgetbucks.com”. Try it out yourself. This is really not a good sign from Google. Contrary to what Shoemoney has mentioned, my opinion is that WidgetBucks have been removed (banned) from Google Index and not just penalized.

I did a little research on this and Widget Bucks are indeed disobeying Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you view the code that they provide you, you will notice that there is a very prominent text link present in it.

<a href="http://www.widgetbucks.com" target="_blank">WidgetBucks - Trend Watch - WidgetBucks.com</a>

After looking at it, i understood that it is the Flash animation that rolls over this text-link and hides/covers it. The Flash is generated using the Javascript code. So, i used my Web Developer toolbar to disable javascript. Then, i viewed my site (that used WidgetBucks). As expected, i found the Text Link alone. Check it out :

Hidden Text Link

This is a straightforward disobedience of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It clearly states as follows :

If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages. When evaluating your site to see if it includes hidden text or links, look for anything that’s not easily viewable by visitors of your site. Are any text or links there solely for search engines rather than visitors?

I’m not a SEO expert. But, my opinion (and most probably Google’s too) is that a Flash Animation rolling over a Text link is a form of Hidden Text link. And i don’t see any Positive motive behind such an act from WidgetBucks. So, its really better to stay away from them. I’m removing WidgetBucks from all the sites that i used them on. ShoppingAds seems a better alternative.

Whats your opinion about this ? Feel free to share your comments.

23 Responses

If they placed that link under the animation with intentions of gaming Google, they definitely got what they deserved. Right now is not a very good time to push Google’s buttons.

They seem to have removed the link under the animation. But, hidden “text” still remains.

I’ve read that the problem with google has not been with the hidden link but with something else.

My account was banned for invalid clicks. LOL. I’m an adsense user for 2 years and I think I know not to click my own ads. Widgetbucks = SCAM

ASP

Very interesting…

Thanks for this…

Glad I found this, I would not want to mistakenly do the same.

Hi, You have all the material is attractive and pleasing to read, it quite withholds you snared. Any day you can find fresh and attractive things in your blog.

Well i never used widget bucks, after i read people on DP forum telling all those stories.

Regards,

G.

As a UK-based Red Sox fan, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other Bosox posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.