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Let's Talk About Widgets


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#1 Dr.Marie

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:40 PM

I'm working on a widget for my site that I really think will help my SEO and I'd love to discuss this again.

I know Michael (at least I think it was Michael) mentioned that widgets were a pain in the butt for him to maintain, but the type of widget that I'm thinking of would not really need maintenance. It's a calculator (i.e. like a mortgage calculator).

I've been reading about how to program widgets with javascript and it's silly complicated. You have to do all sorts of things to make sure that your widget doesn't conflict with the javascript on the page. So, here's what I plan to do:

-Create a page on my site that has the widget on it.
-Include the widget code in an iframe
-The iframe links back to the widget page on my site
-The page on my site has a stylesheet on the page so that it doesn't inherit the styles of the host page.
-After the iframe code would be this line, "<p>Provided by <a href="www.example.com">Example.com</a></p>

Here are my questions:
1. What dimensions would be best to offer to people? I was thinking of offering a 250x300 widget and a 300x300 one.

2. Do you think I should make it mandatory to include the line at the bottom? I understand that some link stingy webmasters will strip it out.

If you've got any other thoughts, let me know. I'll let you know how it works out once I get it all done.

#2 iamlost

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:25 PM

1. What dimensions would be best to offer to people? I was thinking of offering a 250x300 widget and a 300x300 one.

I would check that it is not a recognised advertisement size so that it is not auto-removed by certain basic ad blockers.

2. Do you think I should make it mandatory to include the line at the bottom? I understand that some link stingy webmasters will strip it out.

I double double dip :)

First double dip:
* include an image of the widgets name as part of the widget, i.e. 'fab-widget', as branding. In some instances this includes domain branding, i.e. 'mysite's fab-widget'.
* link the image so that it is clickable and leads to the widgets home/info page.
Note: typically shows at top of widget.

Second double dip:
* include an image with text caption requesting comments, like/dislike, etc.
* link the image so that it is clickable and leads to the widgets comments page.
Note: typically shows once widget is used at bottom of result.

Remember that an iframe simply renders the content of your page/widget on some other page. By making the link(s) and branding part of the widget being rendered rather than in the script enabling the rendering it becomes significantly more difficult to remove, block, or hide your branding/linking.

Of course my method also negates the putative SEO value. Depends on your business reason for the widget and the link.
Note: as the script must reference your site to render the widget there is still a link for the SEs to follow. What value they attach to a rendering link rather than a user clickable link I don't know.

#3 Dr.Marie

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:51 PM

I would check that it is not a recognised advertisement size so that it is not auto-removed by certain basic ad blockers.

Wow. Never thought of that. That's a great idea.


I do plan to "double dip". As I understand it though, any links that come from within the iframe will simply count as internal links for me and have very little seo benefit. I'm loving the idea of putting a like button inside of the widget. Brilliant.

Note: as the script must reference your site to render the widget there is still a link for the SEs to follow. What value they attach to a rendering link rather than a user clickable link I don't know.


Interesting. So, I think you're saying that there may be some sort of SEO benefit from having the iframe call to my site? The idea of the <p></p> below the iframe would be to add an actual link to my site. But again, this is the part that a site owner could easily remove.

#4 iamlost

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:57 PM

So, I think you're saying that there may be some sort of SEO benefit from having the iframe call to my site? The idea of the <p></p> below the iframe would be to add an actual link to my site. But again, this is the part that a site owner could easily remove.

So far as I know SEs either ignore iframes or consider the content as that of the supplying site not that of the displaying site(s). However the script, i.e. javascript, that calls for the loading of the iframe is certainly available to the SEs and I do know that they 'follow' such URLs, at least some of the time. What values a SE might attach to such a script call URL I haven't a clue (although my script names do show in SERPS :)).

Yes, I do understand the logic behind a separate link, however, (1) as you say they are easily removed, (2) such links are easily identified and possibly devalued by SEs, (3) they are not necessary for user traffic and branding, which are my reasons for offering widgets and apps.

But my business logic is not necessarily that of anyone else. Build what/how you feel will provide the best value(s) for you.



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