Matt Cutts: Widget Links should be NoFollow’edWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 18, 2013 # 9:53 pm # Industry News, Marketing Insights, Specials # 2 Comments
The head of Google’s search engine spam department, Matt Cutts, recently posted a video to which he responded to a question asking about links embedded within widgets. This is a common practice for individuals or companies that create widgets to help website owners. They add in a link back to their page so individuals who find the widget useful, can see where it comes from. These links are sometimes hidden away within the code, and other times they are openly displayed to visitors of the site.
Either way, according to Cutts, the links should be NoFollowed within the code. This is because, he says, that many website owners will use the widgets without ever realizing that they are providing a link back to the authors site. They likely don’t want to be passing back the ‘link juice,’ and in reality, the majority of the sites which are using the widget, won’t be from a related page.
“I would recommend putting a nofollow, especially on widgets” is the official word from Cutts, and while that doesn’t mean widget coders won’t get visitors clicking on their links, it does mean they won’t be getting the SEO benefits they have enjoyed in the past.
This is just the latest ‘victim’ from Matt Cutts’ push to improve the way links are used on the Internet (and therefore improve Google’s SERPS). Last month he said to NoFollow the links in Press Releases, and alluded to the fact that links within infographics might be on the chopping block in the future.
What do you think about this latest recommendation from Matt Cutts? Will it impact the individuals and companies who are making high-quality widgets? Will they want to keep doing it for free if they aren’t getting the SEO boost?