Google spam man Matt Cutts has been attempting to get his message about “No-followed” widget and infographic links for awhile now. Below is a video about Google’s opinion on obtaining links from widgets is from October 2012.

Cutts is quoted: “Whenever you get a link from just a word press footer or just a random footer or, you know, when someone installs a widget or they install
some theme on their content management system, it’s often the case that they’re not editorially choosing to link with that anchor text.”

…and again in August 2013

Here again he added the bit about “not editorially” which is really strange because wouldn’t that be my choice as the editor of my blog that if I want to add a widget I could? It would be my editorial choice. Right? For example let’s say I was writing a blog post about modern artist Robert Conklin, my adding the link is editorially my choice but what if I wanted to add a map to my post?

View Larger Map


I’m pretty sure you will agree that the “View Larger Map” link is a clean link, and I know that Googlers will say “it’s not a commercial back link” {cough}, Google wants you to think the links like this nj modern artist are what they class as commercial but they’re not. Google is built around authority links, the anchor text is just the icing on cake. Too much icing and it’s too sweet to eat. No icing, well, that’s no cake!


Tripadvisor’s widget comes up alot in SEO widget conversations (yes they happen) particularly when talking about No Follow widgets. Here is a screenshot from Tripadvisor’s widget creation page:


And part of the widget looks like this:


Most SEOs would find these links to be “clean” and ok to use and would approve, in exchange for that widget.


To summarize, I don’t think that the widgets are the issue but those image links!

Check out what Google Play does. These are “followed” links. There are about 90 million of these out there according to our data tools. But we can probably expect to see changes in rankings for link profiles that contain many of these types of links in the future too.