Checking back links I saw a few sites linking to this widget that shows the readability of your blog. It gives you the score of your blog (on a education level) in a nice little widget you can place on your blog. It says you need to have some grammar school to be able to comprehend gets a “genius” score. I thought it was funny and was going to put it on here and make a post about how making widgets is a awesome way to score links. (and generally accepted by Google as long as its on target)

Lets take a peak at the code they give you to place on your site….

[html]cash advance

Fast Payday Loans


Lets take a closer look at that last part….

[html]Fast Payday Loans[/html]


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.

84 thoughts on “I Liked Your Widget Until I Saw Your Spammy Embeded Links”
  1. lol. That’s a riot. Time for the Blog-Mobsters to come out of their dark alley again. 🙂

  2. […] Read more of this article at […]

  3. Hahahaha. I wonder how this persons serps are. I’m going to do some preliminary checks.

  4. I agree it’s a bit spammy but people have been doing this forever with hit counters. Check the backlinks of some of the organic results for “online degree.” People just grab the free hit counter, put it on their site, and voila, 4782904823098 back links. Some of these sites have surprising staying power I might add.

  5. I agree it’s kind of spammy but people have been doing this forever with hit counters. People get free hit counters, place them on their site, and voila, the hit counter maker gets 4293878490 free back links. Check out the backlinks for some of the top results for “online degree.” Some of these sites have surprising staying power.

  6. A couple of weeks ago they were number 1 for payday loans. Now they don’t even come up on a search for cashadvance1500.

  7. Hmmm…elementary school for me. And I suddenly want a fast cash payday loan.

    Thing is, why would you get a loan on Payday, when you have the most money? And why are there never ice cream loans?

  8. I noticed that when I posted the widget on my site – just deleted the last line as Chris said. But evil nonetheless.

  9. Well spotted. They are scum. I can’t understand how anyone would want to taint their name by advertising their rip off loans. No wonder they have to resort to spammy tactics.

  10. Jeremy, that is funny because an extremely popular dating service did something similar to get some great links and the guy who did it is seen as a genius. He has been a guest on WebMasterRadio quite a few times (one of them when JohnChow took over for your show if I remember correctly).

    “How many germs live on your keyboard?” Sound familiar?
    or what about “What Are Your Chances of Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse?”

    Both hit the front page of Digg pretty quickly then went around the blogosphere quite a few times, Stumbled like crazy, mentioned on some popular blogs, etc.

    The widget randomly spits out different anchor text to be used so he gets #1 for several “City name dating service” or “State name dating service” very easily.

    I’m not saying its a bad idea to do (although, it probably can be unethical), just that it seems pretty common to do. Maybe this guy is the same one I mentioned though, he could just be working on a different site as he uses the bb directory as well.

  11. That’s not really the point – the guy is clearly a spam-meister! I wouldn’t use his widget now even if he removed this part of the code altogether.

  12. Ah, the evil that lurks in every corner. First, I had to search my email to throw out viagra ads, then I had to scan my plugin code to delete spam links…what’s next, scouring my IMs to find backward masked messages? It’s all too much!

  13. Jeremy do you always check “View Source” for every page you visit? lol nice find. What was also funny was that your readability of your blog is Elementary school hehe.

  14. A few plugins/templates I have come acrossed do this. They did it a little sneakier though. They would use some php trickery such as eval(base64_decode(insertrandomasscharactersherepoiuasdpfihasd98732987));

    I would just remove this string but they would wrap it around code that was essential to the function working. This pissed me off. Took me two minutes to figure out that if you changed eval to echo it would just spit the raw php code at you. Then you just copy&replace and voila. Gone.

  15. Yeah, but the problem with that is, if it is anything like this you are using the widgetmakers bandwidth for the images. So instead of him putting crap code on your site for a “free” widget, you are stealing his bandwidth and editing what he wants you to use. So you are essentially stealing from him instead.

    IMO, the better option is to just not use it. Otherwise you are stooping to the same level.

  16. Oh come on, stealing from them? How is this not a link selling/spreading scam from the get go? Plus it treads on the good will of the user’s blog and pagerank.

    Your lack of a real business plan, isn’t my concern.

  17. You know being on the first page for a search term has a lot more to do than just typing the term into google. Take “affiliate” as an example… your demographic location compared to the sites demographic location, including the business name if applicable (Google Maps Can Do Wonders) and much more! Your search for “Payday Loans” in Canada would provide results for Canada, if you search in California, somewhere on the first 10 pages of your results for Payday Loans is going to be a California based business. etc….

  18. Not pretty. Links that aren’t editorially given aren’t likely to result in happiness in the long term. Kudos to you, Shoe, for calling this out.

  19. It really sucks that people will stoop so low just to try to “gain” the search engines. Just makes it that much tougher for those of us who actually want to succeed legitimately…

  20. The thing about this is that at SES Chicago they talked about doing this in the link building session. “Build a tool with a link back to your site.”

    It is funny you caught it, but I think this is main stream SEM tactics.

  21. That’s very under-handed. Quite sharp of you to pick it up. I’m sure most people didn’t.

  22. Thanks for the information. The things people will do just to get their link out. I can understand placing sponsored links on themes, however, placing them on widgets too is going a little far. Especially when their irrelevant to the website.

  23. i wonder if he just linked to his blog like the wordpress guys do initially on wordpress, if it would have been okay. or are payday loans bad? is this a case of bad ethics or a bad practice to backlink in your tool?

  24. i wonder if it would be bad if someone created a site called below a buck and had mad products listed on ebay under a buck on it, but instead of linking directly to ebay they added their affiliate id… it would probably be better to copy the item id out of the link address and search for it on ebay without giving the affiliate any spammy links…

  25. LOL. I like how the widget really had nothing to do with the site being linked to. A link’s a link I guess.

  26. I’ve used the site and thought about putting the widget on my blog. Don’t think so now. Thanks for the info.

  27. Lack of a real business plan? Err… sorry, but if I was running a business site, I wouldn’t be putting silly widgets on it in the first place, so that is your problem. Second, yes, it is stealing since you would knowingly edit a code so you could still display the widget while taking away what the author intended the widget to do, link to his website. Copyright infringement (since it isn’t exactly GPL.. everything not marked should be assumed copyrighted) AND you are stealing bandwidth by not complying to the authors wishes.

    And no, it isn’t exactly a link selling program OR a scam. It is unethical, but isn’t against the law. You can choose whether or not to display the widget, but you can’t choose to edit the code. It might be a scam if he didn’t tell the user what code to put on, but he does. It is clear as day.

  28. Yeah, I guess if you’re running a business you cant do any sort of widgets. Thats why all those facebook “apps” (WIDGETS!) are worthless.

  29. Haha they could have atleast tried to hide the coding by using something other then html, most even basic web designers would catch it.

  30. […] Schoemaker recently made a post entitled I Liked Your Widget Until I Saw Your Spammy Embeded Links that caught my […]

  31. He used to be no 1 for the terms “cash advance” and “payday loan” on google. I’ve noticed this 2-3 months ago. I guess he’s not anymore. Somebody must have reported him to google I guess.

    Anyway he earned some money out of this widget.

  32. Very simple. Not every blogger is on the scourrge for evil embedded links. We are always on the lookout fo rthis type of stuff ebcause we know seo and serps. But your average 16 yr old blogger doesnt have a clue.

  33. In wordpress themes, links in the footer are usually there to credit the author of the theme. But I do know of some people that have made 1000’s selling links in their themes 🙂

  34. Lmao! as if webmasters wouldn’t notice. That’s sneaky. I don’t rate that widget much after doing a few searches on it just now

    My blog which I put a lot of writing efffort into, get gramatically sound and what not got a junior high school score.

    But then one of my other sties, which is purely just a fansite, has poor grammar and little writing effort got a genius score!
    don’t know how their widget works but it’s not very good.

  35. […] Admin wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  36. Hi Shoe,

    Yes that is annoying when people drop links in widgets / word press plugins whatever. I tell you whats more annoying at the minute though. Domain name spam. My rant on this is here! Care to comment?


    Big Al

  37. i just don’t understand why there is so much hate. calling people out is one thing, but straight hate on someone elses money roll is rough.

  38. This is pathetic and a great example of a product with potential (let’s face it, such a widget does have some potential) going to waste as a result of such approaches.

  39. When you place such a link, you have to be upfront and in this case, the problem was that they tried to get away with it instead of honest with people interested in using their widget.

  40. Stuff like this is one of the reasons why I think you should only get plugins hosted on…

  41. Hey, at least they were innovative 😛
    Too bad it didn’t got them anywhere.
    Though, didn’t google had a technique to deal with tricks like that? Isn’t that somehow related to a form of blackhat SEO?

  42. Damn, I saw that one the other day and thought too that it’s a funny one (it switches the rating from time to time, depending on the posts I guess – Bahrain seems not to count very high 😛 )

    Glad I didn’t, I probably would have overlooked that backlink,….

  43. I think that these guys have corrected the code after reading this post. But that was really sneaky.

  44. Luckily I noticed the little sneaky link and removed it, before I posted it.

    I think it’s a bit rude to post links like that without notifying first.

  45. Thats just classic…. I felt bad that I was ranking at a high school level… until my bosses was junior high… and yours was Elementary school… apparently Matt Cutt is also at the junior level 🙂

  46. […] of trash or otherwise respectable blogs or free web 2.0 dating sites littering their great ideas, such as blog awards and viral site badges, with hidden links…. killing their own reputation or those of their […]

  47. […] I koden som man kan sætte ind pÃ¥ sin hjemmeside, har de tilføjet diverse SPAM LINKS. Ovre hos ShoeMoney var det for Payday Loans, men det da jeg prøvede det var TV Reviews. Hvor er det ærgeligt at man ødelægger det sÃ¥dan […]

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