Should I add rel=”nofollow” to links that are included in my Widget?

Updated on: 6 January 2015

YouTube video

When web masters build websites, they might include widgets that someone else has developed. These widgets may have embedded codes that include an outbound link back to the developer’s website. How much does this outbound link hurt SEO?

Video Question

“What should we do with embedded codes in widgets and infographics? Should we include the rel=”nofollow” by default?”

Highlights of the Video

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Web spam, highlighted the following:

  • Google has seen a large number of people who have tried to abuse the presence and usage of widgets and also infographics.
  • He also gave a recap on how Google categorize or review widgets:
    1. Do your widgets lead back to just you or they lead to another third party website?
    2. Is the keyword text that you have used keyword rich, is the anchor text rich?
    3. Or is the name of your website keyword rich?
  • One should not rely on widgets, as well as on infographics as your primary or ultimate way to gather links for your site.
  • Matt Cutts recommends putting a rel=”nofollow” when using widgets all because a lot of people have the habit of copying and pasting segments of codes without realizing what comes with the process. At the same time, they are unable to see which links and codes embedded with the widget.

In order to get higher search rankings, you should:

  • Add rel=“nofollow” to your widgets. The rel=”nofollow” tag will also help you in terms of letting search engines know that they should not be counting the widget’s outbound link as “vote” towards another site.
  • Never abuse the usage of embedding links code on widgets when developing one as it is not recommended by Google. You should focus on Google recommended ways to build links.