There is a lot of talk about the new widgetbucks widget from mpire. I gave it a go on NextPimp for a little while and it was by far the worst performing ad network I have ever used. Its most likely my fault as I choose the “video games” category and it probably didnt just convert. I asked for some feedback on the forums and people promptly pointed me to their terms of service (which I will get to in a minute).

The main reason I stopped running it was that the widget takes 10 SECONDS on average to load. I just don’t think my users have that long of attention span. While their terms of service (which I will get to in a minute) does not permit me to show statistics I will tell you it was getting half the click through ratio of AdSense.

I do know the guys at mpire a little bit… the were very interested in buying AuctionAds last June. I suspected then they really were not interested so for the most part I told them to fly a kite. What I do find interesting is they have totally copied the entire marketing strategy we used… Everything from incetivized payouts to built in affiliates to … well its almost a exact copy. I guess I/we should be flattered.

So onto there terms of service.

Here is the confidentiality statement:

(b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to by Mpire;

So you cant share any click through rates or statistics…. ok…


# Publicity.Client agrees that Mpire may use Client’s name and logo in presentations, marketing materials, press materials, customer lists, financial reports and Web site listings of customers and therefore grants Mpire a limited license to use Client’s logo in accordance with the foregoing.

Hey did you know they pretty much now own your companies logo… sweet.


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

wow your are going to put backlinks in the html code that I can not remove?

I think over all there plan is brilliant and I am sure a lot of people will try it. Its to bad no body can share there results =(.

Right now everyone and their mom is blogging about widgetbucks cause they want all the referrals (they earn a portion of what you earn). But Most of the blogs I see talking about it (that matter) are not running it.. Gotta ask yourself why? =P

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

116 thoughts on “Whatsup WidgetBucks”
  1. Your AuctionAds was successful because it was small and loaded quickly. This WidgetBucks looks about as smooth and easy and trying to sh!t a brick.

  2. […] programs out there. In fact, WidgetBucks is nothing more then a bad copy of AuctionAds, which even ShoeMoney is writing […]

  3. Lovely! Thx mate for sharing this, I was about to try it but now I’ll just pass… :p

  4. I missed the whole beginning of Widgetbucks, and to be honest I cannot be bothered catching up. I’ll stick to what I know, and widgetbucks appeals to me as much as standing in the artic sea in a jockstrap.

  5. I signed up for it and placed the ads on my site for all of about 5 minutes. My pages immediately took so long to load I went right back and removed the adds. I had the exact same problem with AdBrite, well maybe AdBrite was worse, but just barely. All of my other ads work fine.

  6. I personally think that the guys from widget bucks stole your concept and figured with the auction ads transfer ( being sold ) , they had a chance to jump in and take over the market,

    But what they didn’t realize is that it takes more then just someone elses idea to become successful,

    I bet these guys will dry up, I can see it already offense, But just my opinion from what I am seeing across the net and such

  7. Just read this on e-mail and tried to enter in the contest and the error “You must be a subscriber to enter” came up. Huh? I came from my e-mail, LoL

  8. WidgetBucks is working a lot better for me than AuctionAds ever did on many of my sites…will wait till payday though before I recommend them to anyone.

  9. I should say, I only ever tried AuctionAds after it was sold, so got in late but it does preform a lot worse than WidgetBucks for me now.

  10. I know it takes forever to load and it will not load unless its viwable – which is BS – also I always almost get data unreachable – I do not know if anyone else is getting this

    I do not think its out of its alpha stage

  11. I think we’re going to see a lot more AffiliateWidgets soon. AuctionAds did too well to be ignored.

  12. I signed up and got the code. It was strictly javascript, no hard link to their site from the embedded code that I could see. Javascript links don’t count anyway… so no biggie there.

    I ran it in auto-mode (merchsense? dumb). Anyway, it seemed to work OK on some pages… way off on others. That was expected. But the ad was so damn flashy it was almost annoying… and I wasn’t in the mood to piss my users off on that particular day… so I yanked it.

    I realized I was pretty happy with my balance of ads now and didn’t really have a place for it… but curious to see how success some folks are. I hear the payouts are decent right now… but remember YPN??? Enough said.

  13. No matter what it was still a rip off of auction ads, and what I have read its not doing that well,

    But then again, I would think it depends on your site as well 🙂

  14. Another sidebar cluttering option, that seemingly pays you money when someone clicks on it. If they click that is.

    So far I’ve had 24 referrals, lets hope they promote it more than me. So I can make some moolah!

  15. So far WidgetBucks has out-performed AdSense on my sites, but I used the higher CPC paying ads like LCD TVs. I’m not a big fan of what AuctionAds became.. one of the worst stories I’ve every seen..

  16. I completely see why they would want the back links to remain in tact. It gives them an easy way to get more signups. I think they’re a little overbroad on the logo use, though. I can see how they would want to mention use of their system by big players, but will they scare off a few of the big players who become nervous about the free use of the BP’s logo, name, etc.?

  17. I’ve been sharing results, as well as commenters on my site. Mpire has been visiting my site and they haven’t seemed to care.

  18. Well I will not be joining widgetbuckets – bloody stupid name anyway. but I wish I had not joined bloglines either. I didn’t have rss and I’m trying to enter the competition and they will not send me my validation email – and it has not gone in spam.

    I will try again – with a more sensible feedreader company.

  19. Come on Mr Money, their banner looks shit, 20 different products in 20 seconds (ok slight exageration 🙂 just not clickable.

    What do I need “product rating” and “trend” for when looking at world famous brands?! Give me the god damn lowest price I’ve ever seen (in big letters/numbers) and I’m yours.

  20. Wow! Very interesting about the fine print of WidgetBucks. That just goes to show you that it really does pay to read the fine print! 🙂

  21. For me Widgetbucks works well since its cpc unlike AA which made me .02 off of 77 clicks. Widgetbucks has paid more than adsense and has higher ctrs.

    The logo thing is B.S. and I think they would have been better off getting permission on a person by person basis instead of placing an all encompassing statement like that in their TOS.

  22. Catching up with what? Its an ad network, you publish their ads and everytime someone clicks on the ad they pay a high rpc.

  23. Id have to disagree on WB being a rip-off, cause AA was a cpa focused on a single company ebay while WB is a cpc thats fead by multiple online stores. So with wb you dont have all your fish in one barrel.

  24. Widgetbucks are slow, but they are earning me more than Chitika or AdSense! I’m giving them a shot. They’re new right? Let them flesh things out a little.

  25. I agree on the loading slowness – very poor.

    However while I do promote them – I also use them on my product related blogs and my initial testing is showing pretty good results. I’ve got a split test on at present that rotates chitika and widgetbucks in the one position. WidgetBucks has a CTR that is 3 times higher than Chitika in that position and Chitika had a CTR that was 2 times higher than AdSense when I previously did a split test between Chitika and AdSense.

    Chitika seems to be paying more per click in that ad position – but with the higher CTR it seems that WidgetBucks is the better option for me so far. Of course it’s early days so I’ll continue to test.

    I think WB has some room to improve though. For example there is currently no way to target specific products/models which I think would improve it’s performance a lot.

    For me it’s one of those things that I think people should test for themselves on different blogs. It’ll definitely convert well for some blogs (product related ones) just like AuctionAds converted well on certain blogs (but not others).

    I think that it’s probably unfair to critique people for promoting it and not using it on the blogs that they are promoting it on – simply because the kind of blog you’d write about it on wouldn’t be suitable. So for me at ProBlogger I promoted it (as I did AuctionAds) but didn’t run either of them there because it’s not relevant to do so – of course I did test it elsewhere.

    Hmmm – enough of my rambling.

  26. I do hate how long it takes to load. I removed it from 1 of my sites after the length of loading time.

    I also think that it’s a great idea but pretty much was a modified version of auctionads. But hey, they figured a way to do it and get a lot of buzz in the process…

  27. I’ve tried it and the loading is really a problem. It takes too long. Maybe that’s the reason why the clicks are very few or none most of the time.

  28. Not only did Auction Ads NOT load quickly, it gave a lot of pornographic ads in my site for teenagers/young adults. It was also down a lot of times and I did not get a single dime even though I got click-thrus. Auction Ads suck!

  29. In addition to those you mentioned, there are other important WidgetBucks program policies similar to Adsense’s such as the rule on invalid clicks, incentives for users to click, and proper ad placement.

    There’s a summary here: WidgetBucks Terms of Service

  30. ShoeMoney should have stayed away from this… because both AuctionAds and ShoppingAds are SO bad… I am still waiting to see ONE cent from 97 AuctionAds referrals!

  31. i knew widgetsbucks was totally stupid!! thx for confirming this shoemoney!! keep up the good work!!

  32. The CPC is very high. Higher than adsense. It’s true there is lower CTR but on my blog they make me a little less than adsense.

  33. I cant be bothered to try it to be honest. Good you let me know on earlier i shouldn’t waste any time on it.

  34. WidgetBucks slow down my page. Many people removed their widgets because of loading slowness.

  35. Well, if everybody blogs about it, and I’m away from two weeks, then I’m 2 weeks behind everybody with promotion. It sounds a bit rubbish, so I’m not bothering 🙂

  36. LOL. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Maybe they weren’t interested in buying AuctionAds after they got a peek under the hood. Figured they could do something better themselves.

    As for their terms, no different than a lot of other networks. You’re exaggerating and trying to create issues. They don’t “own” your logo. But if you don’ t like them flashing it on their marketing slides then you should take a pass on them.

    They’re new so we have to wait to see if they crash and burn like so many others. At least their website isn’t under construction and saying “We are still in the process of making these major changes” like your buddy over at BlogRush. Talk about a lame widget/site.

  37. the terms are similar to Google’s.
    At least with Analytics Google has the (exact?) same statement about using company logo’s….

  38. I tried them for a few days when John Chow blogged about them. They are dreadful. The ads were not only slow to load by they caused my whole site to crawl while it was loading.
    Won’t be using them again and won’t recommend them to anyone.

  39. At least someone don’t like widgetbucks like me… Damm how much I hate their statistics in their member area…

  40. I am not using it because I am not in the tech gadget niche. Although their T&C says that revealing the stats are not allowed, I still see many bloggers showing off though…

  41. New things often get more clicks as reader are interested in where the panels will bring them..

  42. They are just starting out this and if they get strict like what Google Adsense does, they are like killing off their own income.

  43. I guess WB is performing better than Auction Ads though. The reason being that it’s ad panels are more attractive. Maybe you should give WB a try since you get 97 Auction Ads referrals.

  44. Good points Shoe,

    It never occurred to me what you said about them owning my logo. I have the widget on one of my websites and it takes forever for images (from to load. As an affiliate I can suggest a better deal. Sign up for the affiliate program with Ritz Camera or even Amazon for that matter and you will make more money than with WidgetBucks.

  45. I guess you’re behind in referals but if you have a product related site its never too late.

  46. I don’t have 10 seconds online to waste. If something I have takes more than three seconds to load I start to cringe because I know it will cause visitors to leave. You had me at 10 seconds…

  47. I used WidgetBucks for like… a week on my blog. They’re terrible. The main reason I took them down was actually the point you mentioned Shoe. They take an AGE to load, it’s ridiculous.

    Also, they look way to much like traditional ads or something an average user would associate with an ad, which I think is also why the Click Through Rates for them are terrible.

    Whereas AuctionAds, Adsense etc, can all be integrated or made to look less like a tradtional ad, plus they don’t rely on flash to take 10 years to load.

  48. it really matters what kind of site you put Widgetbucks ads on. I’ve got some running on my videogame sites and their performance is blowing adsense away. However, on other sites that are more general or not in the same area as a category you can pick on Widgetbucks, they have pretty much close to or a zero CTR. if WB had a cellphone category Shoe’s site would have done well i bet. but with untargetted ads it makes sense its not doing well…

  49. attention span, what do you … oh look theres a cat … wow my hand is hot … is that a bird? … I’m hungry … shiny objects … ouch, thats sharp … i like fish … wow the sky is blue today .. i wonder how babys are made … my shirt is a bright color … ADD commercial is on … i wonder how water is made … what is cheese … my head hurts … oh look there is widgetbucks … im tired … goodnight

  50. Integration is key – it’s the reason you see so much advertorial content in magazines these days and why so many radio ads are made to sound like news reports. People don’t like ads in general. Making them blend in is so important.

  51. Seriously, there’s no excuse for a widget taking so long to load. It destroys the user experience at a lot of sites, and that’s really inexcusable.

  52. uh…it’s not like auction ads was super original. Things like goldenCAN and Chitika have been around for a while.

  53. […] numa pessoa tão jovem. Apesar de ter muito respeito pelo ShoeMoney, foi quase patético o post que ele fez ontem a dizer que o programa da WidgetBucks “foi o pior programa de publicidade na net que […]

  54. […] Widgetbucks continua a surpreender-me. Os valores dos clicks continuam muito bons. Acho que o post do Shoemoney sobre este programa deve ser desvalorizado, o que ele sente tem um nome cá em Portugal e começa […]

  55. […] around by ShoeMoney for Widgetbucks Post […]

  56. Well, I tried it on couple of site but overall their cpc is good but ctr is way too low. So i dropped it after a week.

  57. […] are Many bloggers are talking about Widget Bucks including an interesting post by Shoemoney who notes the draconian legal statements in the signup page: [you cannot share] click-through rates […]

  58. WidgetBucks is good i used on one of my site and it gets better then adsense if your site is niche related.

  59. I dont know about copying and all but WB is running well on one of my site and they are paying good.If u have some niche related why are most scoled on ebay then wb pays lot more then adsense, if site is not revelant then CRT will be less.

  60. It is PPC ads program like adsense, they use ebay products mostly and display flash ads on your site.

  61. After about a week of widget bucks being on one of my sites I have found:

    1) It’s more profitable for my arcade sites.
    2) It’s less profitable for every forum I’ve put it on.

  62. when widgetbucks is out, i’ve already feel that it somehow getting the concept from auctionads but with different ‘products’. i have been having quite ok performance from auctionads so i give a try at widgetbucks.
    But as mention, widgetbucks is d*mn slow… totally slowed the loading of my sites and it has lousy performance. I removed it after 1 week of testing.

  63. I joined widgetbucks, and when I cecked my email for the activation, there was your email alert with your post about widgetbucks. I am now going to reconsider that program.

  64. I’ve looked into Widgetbucks but have decided to hold off for now. I’ll wait it out a bit longer…

  65. […] ShoeMoney shared some of his thoughts about WidgetBucks. When I saw the blast of posts about WidgetBucks it reminded me of why I opted against BlogRush, […]

  66. hmm, seems like the blogrush/agloco scam. Those guys cannot deliver what they are marketing as. Its astronomical, the numbers and even just the the promises. Thanks for the headsup. Will keep 2 feet away.

  67. i think the blogrush reward system is not too logical… like MLM.
    unless blogrush own sites which “gives” impressions and dont take impressions .

  68. So far so good…, I am making an average of $4 per day from WB. The questions thar bother me is this: Can WB sustain this high tempo for a whole year?

    AllAdvantage tried, it lasted some 18 months before it caved in. Would WB last that much? I tend to be persuaded that the high CPC of WB cannot be sustained, you can’t just dethrone AdSense in one month of operation. I feel any standard higher than the CPC standard set by AdSense would collapse at the feet of the Google Giant that rules the market for now.

  69. […] I was the first person to mention that the code used by Widgetbucks included a hidden link just a few hours after they launched, but the problem only really got noticed when Shoemoney wrote about this 2 weeks later. […]

  70. […] have been using? Do they really think that this will go unnoticed forever? And when it has been discovered, all they did was to ask their members to download a new, “faster loading” widget […]

  71. From what i read at widget bucks blog they have removed the text links from their ads and also have reduced the loading time of the ads.

  72. It’s been around two weeks since using widget bucks and I am very happy with it. The blogs I place the code on are product driven and it seems my readers like it. For social sites I do not think widget bucks is a good way to go. I know this review said it was taking 10 seconds to load. Mine loads in about 1 second. Not sure why yours was taking so long. It might just be an issue widget bucks fix these last few weeks.

  73. I’m a fresher to this widgetbucks…. The widgetbucks html code that i have placed in my blog is not displaying any ads till now… I’ve placed the code 5 days back… Kindly visit my blog and give me suggestions… Will the widgetbucks gives more online money like Google’s adsense ?

  74. […] was the one of the main circulation of news a couple weeks ago, especially once Shoemoney made a post on how he does not agree with their network terms. Andy Beard then came out with a post saying […]

  75. […] Screw you and your terms (WidgetBucks is way too greedy. They’ll probably claim rights to your first born child.) […]

  76. Widget Bucks is great. I used to work with that on many of my sites.
    It has low payout. and good looking ads.
    Good Click through rates as well.:)

  77. […] Interesting that today I was going to say I’m very pleased with my WidgetBuck tests, but over at Shoemoney, Jeremy gives it a thumbs down. There seems to be some bias to his report (possibly related to his past dealings with AuctionAds and WidgetBucks). You can read about it here. […]

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