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>
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.