Why Does Google Hate Widgetbucks?

by Jeremy Schoemaker on October 24, 2007 · 85 comments

I got a email today from someone saying they thought widgetbucks was responsible for their site dropping in Google for PageRank. I dont want to disclose who this is but lets just say its a pretty well known blogger. When I asked them why they thought it was widgetbucks that caused the drop in pagerank they said that widgetbucks was banned in Google for there own term.

I looked up widgetbucks and it does not look that they have been banned but they definitely are being penalized. Not even on the first page for their own name.

To SEO people out their do you think its just bad SEO or could there link policy be playing a part in the penalty?

Here is a word for word copy from there terms and conditions:

Back-links placed by Mpire in the HTML code must not be removed.

Now from what I have seen there widget is flash but I guess if they were using your site to embed html links (as they asy in their policy…. that would piss Google off eh?

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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Shoemoney 1 blue

knowing all the google engineers that read your blog I knew last week when you showed that it was just a matter of time until they got nuked.

mpire needs to watch your “dont make google look stupid” video!

2 Blog Contests

This guy’s name wouldn’t start with J would it? :D

Good observation though!

3 Neon

widgetbucks could be banned due to they forcing people to backlink them. but i dont think by putting widgetbucks in our site will affect or pagerank. recently google have been adjusting their algo, many sites pr is dropping. it could just a coincidence.

4 Tracy Robinson

I think that Google is penalizing them, and if you do a search you will notice a whole lot of blogs that had widgetbucks have removed it.

5 Joeychgo

I suspect there has been a pretty significant algo change devaluing certain types of links dramatically. I dont know that this is about paid links per se, but might be something like blogs and directory outgoing links have been devalued in general, causing many other sites to be lowered in PR. Whenever you play with PR on a segment, the PR effect snowballs and affects many other sites.

6 Harrisburg Web Design

I can’t fathom Google dropping PR or SERP ranking for sites utilizing an advertising widget. Penalizing the widget maker for employing a shady backlink building strategy? Sure, but not whacking the sites utilizing the widget.

Shoemoney 7 r

If they are participating in the shady back link scheme then they for sure would be penalized.

Who ever advised that company to force html backlinks should be fired immediately

8 s

Definitely a hand edit by google. Their publicity along with the terms of use you outlined is like sending Matt Cutts a paid link offer.

9 LeGo

I was thinking the same thing about the video. It would be nice to have a link on your site that would improve your page rank, not lower it.

10 Hyder

That’s just ridiculous that they would penalize a site for placing the widget bucks code on your site. There is no logic behind it.

On the other hand, whoever advised widget bucks to place that link there should be whacked, TWICE!

11 HustleStrategy

this would be a good time to “talk shit” right neilpatel?

12 HustleStrategy

“widgetbucks” did you mean “wetbacks?” That is real close…

13 Farmer

You all have it wrong. They kicked them in the nuts for ‘causing browsers to hang 10+ seconds. So friggen annoying.

14 SEO Mash

“do no evil” is definitely no longer the Google mantra, is it?

If I had the resources to do it, I would definitely create an Open Source Pagerank. The rank would be guaranteed to be updated once a month and the weight of factors that went into the calculation (domain age, backlinks, traffic, etc) would be voted on by all members and would adapt as decided by the collective group. Being held hostage by Google over PR and their own vested interests is ridiculous.

15 blogstheme.com

Check out these results from widgetbucks!


$0.02/click they suck!!

16 Facebook proxy

I also have a hunch Google penalizes sites that use PayPopup.com also.

17 Publishers Weblog

Google was always evil man. They just hid it very well. Now google is trying to play games with everyone. But yeah, I highly doubt its the SEO. My guess is that its to do with perhaps just their link policy.

18 Jason

I did a quick search for Text-Link-Ads and they don’t show up on the first page either.

19 JoeTech.com

We’ll probably see a lot of speculation about various things that could be “the cause” for various sites losing page rank, but I think it will ultimately come down to a number of factors that Google has integrated into the new page rank algorithm. I don’t think there will be one thing to blame.

20 King Jacob

I don think its really a big deal cause if someone wants to get to widgetbucks all the sites in the ranking lead to widgetbucks.

21 James

Widgetbucks is so worthless it deserves to be buried. I gave it a prominent position on one of my sites for a full week: over 150,000 impressions, and it only made 40 cents!

22 David

No penalty – PR drop might be from selling text links. There is a internet-wide drop of PR due to recent google changes

23 Jonathan Volk

Wow. That’s an intriguing thought. I doubt using an ad system would drop your PR, but then again, you never know.

Google’s vengeance is quite swift.

24 db

Gee why would Google penalize a company offering a somewhat competing product in the online advertising game?

25 Justin Cook

I was under the impression that it’s entirely flash based as well! It doesn’t really make sense that a remote widget could modify the HTML of your site.

26 Collin

If anyone knows a good SEO who can help me with my site and setting up a few things please have them get a holg of me. I really need a good list of keywords or how to write them better. My search engine traffic really blows!

27 Karthik

I think that would be bang on – the only possible reason Darren would have been penalized – he would have been seen as promoting the service and linking to “bad neighbourhood”.

28 lyricsreg

I sincerely doubt that it’s s coincidence

29 Making The Money

I haven’t had time to have a propper look but a friend pointed out that they are “hiding” links via a noscript tag which Google doesn’t like. Combine that with every widget linking back to them in what appears to be a hidden div and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. For the low value they bring I’m removing them.

30 Ryan

I just don’t see the logic in this.. it does point out how bad paid links and backlinking is when all of these sites have reasons to be penalized.

31 tonyinabox

my website used to not display in a SERP of my own name once too.. but that because I blocked google bot. LOL

32 geomark

Sounds like FUD you are spreading. You really have it bad for WidgetBucks, don’t you?

That guy that had 150,000 impressions and made only 40 cents, LMAO! I ran it for a while on one of my pathetic little sites, got 900 impressions and $11. I thought, wow, that’s pretty rich for something that has nothing to do with my niche. But had to take it off, too much of a distraction. Too bad they don’t have more categories.

33 Jeremy

“their” not “there”

34 Gecko Tales

The quality of the site and slow load may have something to do with it. Google only wants to provide quality content to searchers and this isn’t it.

35 Anthony

Bugger, is that where I’m going wrong :)

36 Kenneth

I hope the owner of WidgetBuck is still okay… lol

37 Mayur

lol this is pretty surprising, but you never know what Google is upto ;)

38 simple life

i think big G is out of mind o_O

39 simple life

google out of mind o_O

40 Andre Chinnow

WidgetBucks can’t make it. Because the earnings are poor and there ist still a risk with the backlink stuff. So they need the 25$ offer to bring some new customers in. In a few years nobody will know them…

41 CPA Affiliates

when you control the game you control the power and thats exactly what google is doing lately but i think they are on the verge of driving people away…. we shall see… the hardest part is no one seems to really try to compete with them which keeps them at the top.

42 David Weinrot

I received an email from WidgetBucks today announcing that they have rolled out new code. The purpose of introducing the new code is to facilitate faster ad load times; you can be sure, though, that they will have removed the stealth backlinks.

43 賃貸 大阪

I noticed that too the other day…I could only find them through their Adwords ad.

44 GettyCash

I got their e-mail says Widgetbuck code changed.

45 Jeremy

If you are looking for an amazing ad program go to “widgetbucks.modulehoster.com”.

If you use this link you can get pay per click ads and you start with a balance of $25!

46 Seo Next

widget bucks on your site will not reduce your PR.Pr is all about incomming links to your site.

47 Andre Chinnow

How could new code solve the problem? Load times mostly depend on server capacity.

48 sylv3rblade
49 Johans

This was a really interesting issue to look into, and I think the comment link provided by sylv3rblade really helps clarify things.

50 Jim Karter

After widget bucks’ clearification about it in their blog, I think this thing will settle down.

51 Amit

If you read widget bucks blog you will something else

52 Riza

Widgetbucks now appears in Google, although they are on Page 5 according to this article:


53 Flat Stomach FAQ

Putting widget bucks on your site will not cause a decrease in your PR.

54 Widget Bucks

WidgetBucks was not banned by Google SERPs. It was on over site on their part pertained to page redirects Nothing to do with Google being at fault.

55 ytyt

I hear google and yahoo are posting bad things about widget bucks on a bunch of blogs…

http://www.widgetbucksreviews.com is a good place to evaluate http://www.widgtbucks.com

56 WidgetBucks

How does WidgetBuck get penalized? It has a pr 4

57 Publisher

My Experience with WIDGETBUCKS
ADS SUCKS but Widget bucks Not —— This is there slogan…….. But to the contrary, Not only there ads but THEY SUCK……………
Now my experience…..
1. I joined there publisher network in the beginning of Dec 2007. During the month of Dec 2007, I managed to get 1 referral and earned around $200 by running their ads on my websites.
2. As they say……that actual bucks (AFTER CHECK FOR CLICK FRAUD ETC) will be posted under MY BUCKS within first 10 day of next month (e.g. FINAL Dec earnings will be posted by 10th of Jan) they posted my earnings as $200.00 + earning from referral (They didn’t deduct a cent from the listed earning i had in MY WIDGET page of the statistics)
3. I earned around $ 150 + earning from referral during the month of Jan 2008.
4. On Jan 30th I received a message from WIDGETBUCKS TEAM stating that I should respond to the message in 48 hours else- My account will be suspended.
Please feel free to checkout my sites and see for yourself if there is any ADULT CONTENT. My Websites where widget bucks code is placed: –
5. I responded to there message via email as well as there support site http://support.mpire.com stating that this is untrue and they should recheck the website and there records.
6. Now I got a response back stating MY WEBSITES ARE NON-ENGLISH websites and they mistakenly said it contains an ADULT CONTENT.
Again I replied telling them all my websites are in English, they are free to checkout by themselves if they are NON-ENGLISH or ENGLISH
7. I responded to the message stating my websites are in ENGLISH and I SIGNED up as publisher only in DEC 2007, IF MY websites are NON-ENGLISH I would have not been approved as a PUBLISHER as per WIDGETBUCKS site requirement.
8. Got reply this time – that MY account has been suspended because of CLICK FRAUD (see this is 3rd statement for one issue).
This time the Widget bucks team member re-activated my account and I was back up on Feb 4, 2008.
9. I read on there blog that all of the publisher are paid for the month of Dec 2007 by Feb 5th 2008, whereas I was not paid.
10. I opened a ticket regarding the payment for the month of Dec 2007, and guess what…………
11. The response I got — “Your account was suspended again for click-fraud. We aim to build a healthy network and seek publishers who generate natural traffic and clicks.”

12. WHEN I responded back ….I get this message —
”This suspension was for the previous clicks, December – January. You are welcome to apply again for the program but this account will remain suspended.”
Point to note here is – As I mention above they NOTICE the CLICK FRAUD when I ASKED for the PAYMENT and not the TIME when they POSTED MY ACTUAL EARNINGS.
My Dear PUBLISHERS please let me know what does this entire STORY MEANS to YOU.
I am posting this on all the blogs so that my publisher friends gets a heads up that what all WIDGET BUCKS CAN do with anyone. THEY CAN SUSPEND YOUR ACCOUNT EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE NO REASON AND EAT YOUR ENTIRE EARNINGS.
At the END I would just wish you all LUCK and Widget bucks also ALL THE BEST as they enjoy my EARNINGS.
Thanks for your patience to read this on blog.

58 bali villas


59 Sheryl

Nah, at first I never like widgetbucks the only reason is my blogs doesn’t accepted. But I’m still thankful, ‘coz I found out that Widget Bucks banned in Google search haha..too bad for them, and they [Widgetbucks] denies it.

60 Sahil Kotak

That will surely result into ban from big G.

61 Kredyt

Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

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