Reminder: Google Hates Widget Links

In a blog post last year, Google reminded users that widgets are cool, but widget links are the suxxor.

Widgets can help website owners enrich the experience of their site and engage users. However, some widgets add links to a site that a webmaster did not editorially place and contain anchor text that the webmaster does not control. Because these links are not naturally placed, they’re considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines.

If you look at the examples, they highlight things that many plugin (and theme) developers would consider acceptable links.

What does this mean for you? It means your powered-by link may adversely impact your users. Be smart. Make your links no-follow.

Also as a reminder: Any and all powered-by links and credits must be opt-in. That is a site owner must make the conscious and informed decision to display your credits. You cannot have them show by default, you cannot have them be opt-out, and you cannot hide them in display:none code or any other way that embeds a clickable link. Code comments like <!-- Powered by WordPress --> is fine.