Google Pimped Slapped the WidgetBuck

By Ian Fernando

With all the talk around Google slapping in the past couple days and weeks, I found a very interesting article that I saw on Shoemoney a couple days ago. Then today I saw JohnChow writing a post on it as well with more in depth reasoning. It was very interesting because I really did not know they were doing a very smart and tactical way of gaining page rank.

I first read an argument with the WidgetBuck on post. Mark stated they copied Google's TOS and replace Google with WidgetBucks. Was this the reason why WidgetBucks got slapped, slapped so hard they could not rank in Google searches for "widgetbucks?"

Many controversies rose they will be slapped for copying the TOS, but this is not true. found the actual reasoning behind the ban and it makes sense.

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.

I then went to look at my own WidgetBuck code and to my surprise it was there, enclosed in a DIV container.

<a href="" target="_blank">WidgetBucks - Trend Watch -</a>

This is definitely against Google TOS:

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?

You can read more about at Google Webmaster Help Center.

While I am writing this I just received an email from WidgetBucks.... Reading.... Hmmm.... Interesting....

They are requesting the following:

It is very important to note that this update will require action on your part. You will need to update code of your existing widgets for the speedier load times to take affect on your site, blog or network.

This is very interesting, I wonder if there is a lot of hype about this? I bet other bloggers are reading all about from another person's blog. But this seems to be the issue and Google penalized WidgetBucks for doing this kind of trickery. Good marketing on WidgetBucks but do not piss off the big guys, especially Google.

WidgetBucks says it is important to update your code for faster loading time, I guess they do not want to say they have been recently bitched slapped hard and more than once probably.

By the way, here is the new code I received and will be implementing on my pages of my blog. Looks very similar to the original.

<!– START CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE –><script src=”” type=”text/javascript”></script><div id=”container_jvnIHpRngpMaQhN2″ class=”wbtw160×600″>WidgetBucks - Trend Watch -</div><script type=”text/javascript”>writeWBStyles(””);setTime out(function(){var day = “” + new Date().getMonth() + new Date().getDate() + new Date().getYear();var widget = new mpireWidget(”×600.swf?uid =jvnIHpRngpMaQhN2&apiURL=”+day,”jvnIHpR ngpMaQhN2″);widget.write(”container_jvnIHpRngpMaQhN2″);},Math.floor((M ath.random() * 150) - (-(Math.random() * 150))) - (-200))</script><!– END CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE –>

There is no link within this script - this looks very similar to my script without the HTML parameters in it. I think WidgetBuck got Pimp Slapped very hard and they felt the need to fix their script. GotChance did a great scrap and under cover investigation on this issue.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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