Google will Penalize all sites Sharing widgets, Plugins and Templates



Latest Google Back-linking Policies

Google keeps on changing its algorithms and policies regarding link building and link exchange. This time around, in their updated link schemes document under the Webmaster guidelines, Google has included large-scale guest posting, advertorials, and links in distributed articles/press releases/products to be in violation of their policies. This new development is among the stream of other changes Google has made so far this year, and seems to be an alarming one. Because not only will it apply to large scale guest posting and press releases, it will also apply to sites sharing free widgets, plugins, and templates, and then linking to themselves in those products.
These new policies include three major types of backlinks. Links generated from large-scale guest posting and article marketing, links generated from advertorials and native advertisements, and links in distributed articles/news releases.

Large-scale article marketing

As expected, Google doesn't take very kindly to links generated by large-scale guest posting. We covered this topic in an earlier post about How Google treats guest blogging. If the guest posts themselves do not add much value, and are solely intended for backlink building, then you have a problem. You better make your guest posts relevant, useful, and good quality. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time.

Advertorials

This shouldn't come as a surprise, because we all know how Google looks at links from Ads. Google discourages advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that have links that pass PageRank. If such a thing was ever to be encouraged, then anyone could simply 'pay' to rank higher in search results. Therefore, such links need to be nofollowed, so that they do not pass PageRank.

Optimized Anchor text in press releases

According to Google, "links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites" are considered as unnatural. If you're publishing an article or press release on your website, and then distributing it through a wire or through an article site, you should nofollow all links that are considered as "optimized anchor text" (i.e. keyword rich anchor text).

About plugin and template websites

So, how does all this relate to sites that provide widgets, plugins, and templates for free? Well, Google doesn't have a problem with you providing people with free (or paid) tools and resources. But what most free plugin and template websites do is, they add a link to one of their own sites, so that whenever someone installs a widget or a plugin, that plugin links to the host site. And usually, it is a followed link.

Similarly, in almost 95% of the free themes and templates, there are some links in the footer (which you can't remove, especially for some premium WordPress themes). These links also point towards the host site. Not it isn't the theme or the plugin that is violating the policies. It is the links. Such links come under the distributed links category with "Optimized anchor text" (3rd category listed above). Google has just recently announced that this sort of link violates its policies. So you should either not include such links in your plugins and themes at all, or you should nofollow those links, so that they do not pass PageRank to your own website.

Got any questions regarding these new Google Policies? Any opinions? Please leave your responses in the comments section below, and let us know what you think! Cheers ;)

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  1. Oh My God ! Its really bad news for us !

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  2. Will MBT stop providing widgets??? If so then it is our bad luck :(

    Mauritian Techie
    http://mauritiantechie.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I have also a same question..

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    2. From now on, we will nofollow all such links. There's no harm in distributing widgets and plugins and templates. The problem lies with the links, which will be set to "nofollow"

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  3. Google and its series of problems

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  4. waoo! this is a really bad news to hear. How do we all bloggers go about this now? Meaning google only wants the traffic to come from natural search engines and google crawlers or what? becasue me i don't understand all these news rules oooo

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    Replies
    1. Google has a problem with the followed links put in plugins and templates, not on the content itself. So sharing them with a "nofollow" is perfectly fine

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  5. Oh no well we have to bear with them

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  6. but i make template for free to get backlink and pagerank too :(

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    Replies
    1. Like I said, there's no problem with distributing templates and plugins. But if you do it for backlinks, then you, my friend, have some worrying to do

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  7. Let me shed some light. When we design widgets most of the time people will put their site in the widget in the form of a comment or by adding it to the code. Well most people don't remove this so the site is generating free traffic for no real work done. So Google has said that is not going to fly and now if you try to force the implementation of your website branding on those widgets then you will be penalized. This is how it should be, you don't own html/javascript/css you use the tool, and by putting your name all over it you are making the web worse (in a way) so now people need to create widgets and templates without these links or continue to have people remove them afterwards.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! Google only has a problem with those links. And they're still acceptable if you "nofollow" them. Google only notices links that try to pass PageRank

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  8. There's a MBT link at the footer of Salahuddin Ayubi template. Will that count as unnatural backlinks too? Perhaps my pageview is too low to account for that :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it will count. Which is why we will "nofollow" all such links from now on

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    2. Its very Clear in Google Policies that Link in the Footer weather follow or no-follow would be treated as spam, so from now on template owner should put no-follow link someone else in template other wise they would be penalize along with the person who use that template which have link on post footer.

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  9. It will affect yours as well as the creators because if the crawlers notice a trend of links on a ton of sites without any specific label such as a source then you will both be smacked. The crawler knows that link should not be there, and that the owner is trying other means to promote their content.

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  10. Its really bad news Bhai, Why Google doing this all.. :(

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  11. That is really a bad news!! But I think we should follow them because as what the author said, we will be penalized.... if we will violate it....

    Regards

    Bloggingtipsandtrix.blogspot.com

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  12. Glad I don't even know how to do any of those things. Hopefully Google will just scrap pagerank soon and reward content generators with original content. http://www.zombielogic.org/2013/07/has-google-discontinued-pagerank.html

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  13. Nice post, but this is a bad news

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  14. This is really bad information for some newbie bloggers because the are using the other codes, widgets and templates.I own multiple sites and some of site will sure be penalized because of this algorithm.
    thepclife.com

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    Replies
    1. Google need to kick those cheaters who copies others blog content.

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    2. @Osho Garg: Google HAS been starting to remove Blogger blogs classified as content scrappers. I can confirm now that here, in Indonesia, Google has eliminated hundreds of scrapper blogs, in which some of them are great blogs that used to earn at least hundreds of dollar every month. The process is still (and always) in progress, in a week 2 or 3 blogs get removed for the case of content scrapping/copyright infringement.

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  15. Oooowesome post bro i like it.....

    Regards:
    http://www.Vubex.com
    http://www.MovieLego.com

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. So what this means about press releases is we can not link back to our site ?

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    Replies
    1. Not without a "nofollow" attribute, no

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  19. What about Pinterest , i have some boards with pictures linking back to my sites ?

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  20. So what this means about press releases is we can not link back to our site ?

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  21. Will Google penalize only the sites providing the widgets or will they penalize the ones using the widgets too?

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    Replies
    1. Both. But mostly the ones that are linked to, since PageRank is being passed on to them

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  22. If this post is correct, it will be no less than a revolution in this field...

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  23. I think it has one positive and one negative impact
    positive impact is that now people who make these plugin and force the users to link back to their website will almost stop doing this
    but on the other hand negative impact is that programmer who make these plugin for free will be discouraged and will stop distributing for free lets see what the MBT do
    from
    fahad
    an educational blog writer

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  24. Please Announce a domain giveaway

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  25. Hello Qasim,
    Your article made me more aware about using nofollow links but I would like to ask a question that who is going to be affected more? The one who is providing the template/widgets/plugins or the one who is using any of these which is having a link(dofollow). Thanks...
    Tech Blog Cloud

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    Replies
    1. The one who is being linked to, so the one providing the template/plugin

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    2. Thanks Qasim for your kind reply :-)

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  26. so in mbt momop template..under footer there site includes...am i remove this?

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  27. it's bad for as , especially for newbie bloggers :(
    regards
    thepclife.com

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  28. I'm a bit confused, does this affect those exchange links/exchange banners that some of us include in our websites/blogs?

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    Replies
    1. is that means links to other blogs/sites in blogger blogroll/rss widgets will also considered as violating policies if without "nofollow"?

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  29. Oh My God ! Its really bad news for us ! :(

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  30. very nice post http://www.urdulearn.com/

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  31. If so how will Google penalize those sites owners who generate these codes/template and plugins, will Google delete their blog site or what,how exactly will Google treat this issue?.

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    Replies
    1. They can always distribute their codes/templates etc. Google isn't against that. They will ust have to nofollow their links, so they don't pass PageRank

      Delete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. It's really bad news for us & For my blog
    http://techshout-bd.blogspot.com

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  34. Good then Qasim you have to worry about your site, because it has more then 1.4 million backlinks and in which 1 million backlinks are from site-wide links mean from gadgets, widgets or templates, You have to do something for you site first .... lol

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    Replies
    1. I am asking about this site .. mybloggertricks.com

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    2. Yes, Exactly. We will have to remove or discard those links somehow

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    3. Use Dis-sallow tool to discard those links which are already placed in footer of templates, and next time if you create link never put it on footer its clear Violation of Webmaster Guidelines and it looks like a spam link to Google Crawler as well, this step was taken by Google only to reward those blog owner who write original article and create natural backlinks

      Delete
  35. @Qasim Zaib
    please ans my question....i am using 2011 monop template which is provided by MBT..in footer there is a link of MBT am i remove this or not....

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  36. Hello MBT,

    I want your help regarding guest blogging,

    I probably get 2-3 guest posts daily for my blog, most of them are 100% unique daily but I have a problem that, when they give their article with that they add a short piece of Bio ( about the author ) which contain their information. But even if the article is 100% unique for the bio it become 90% unique sometime, as they are regular guest author at many blogs, and they have added that Bio in their articles. So I was thinking that will Google take this point as Copied Content???

    - Bishal Biswas

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    Replies
    1. No. You can see the same here on MBT. What you can do is, if you have author pages, link each bio with that regular author page, and write the bio in that page as well

      Delete
  37. For MBT admin I have a fundamental question, this question represents my confusion over this regarding SEO Optimization. master blogger in Indonesia they are rarely willing to share their knowledge to beginners, so for us newbies are always trying to find our way alone be it wrong or right, and we do not know? I'm from Indonesia. try to ask to use google translate. so please consider the following explanation:

    1. Some argue about the SEO on SEO optimization, ie, optimize On page and off page on the website. what was true, How should the practice of SEO Optimization On page and Off page???
    2. Some say if the website we want to occupy the first position in google search then we must multiply the backlink. and how to find backlinks that I know of to put a dofollow link our blog on other blogs either by blogwalking and deploy widgets with widget makers mark it with the embed link our blog. What kind of thing is said to be one?? if any admin MBT correct according to the way how. I beg to be able to understand the explanation correctly blogger.

    above two fundamental questions that bothered me during the 3-year study in the blogger world and yet also managed and find the true identity of the blogger. I like blogger and I frequently update my information in the MBT.

    before I say many thanks for the reply from admin MBT. I wait for the answer on my email: aliffnurgazali@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, first of all, I would like to thank you, that you find us important enough to follow our advice. As far as your questions go, they're pretty big and generic.

      1. On Page vs Off page SEO, and how to do it. Both are important. Read this article to learn more about them
      http://info.resultspm.com/blog/bid/276484/On-Page-vs-Off-Page-SEO

      2. You're right about the search ranking being effected by the number of backlinks you have. But most people think the more backlinks there are, the better. That is not true. You Natural Backlinks. need backlinks, but you need quality ones. Natural backlinks. Buying backlinks is a cheap act, and so is getting links by distributing widgets.

      Hope I answered your question. Feel free to ask some more

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  38. If the back-link is relevant to the topic of your article that will be counted as backlink widget backlink have no topic relevancy and thus treated as spam by Google and will penalize sites in future

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  39. what the hell is wrong with them ? I know one thing for sure, they will blackmail the world soon...!!

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  40. i think this is very good news, this will clean all the mess from the web. Google keeps everything very clean, Google do these things because they always try to make their search better and better for people so they can provide better and relevant results from the we pages. and this is good for bloggers also who really want to become a good blogger and take this seriously. that's why Google has stopped accepting blogs and sites related to tech, gadget, etc into Adsense because there are millions of blogs and websites already on the web covering the same topics which Google even don't need,

    Also, try to get quality backlinks related to your niche that will sure increase your PR search relevancy on Google. My site has only 70+ backlinks and Google has rewarded me with PR 3 which was 1 from last one year, my blog is just one and half year old, and my other blog got PR 2 which was previously 0 and it has only 40+ baclinks So number of it doesn't matters how many backlinks you have what matters is how many quality backlinks you have from relevant niche sites.

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. This blog is really remarkable. Thanks for sharing this great. Keep sharing more useful and conspicuous stuff like this. Thank you so much.

    SEO India

    ReplyDelete