Exclusive: WidgetBucks Now Safe To Use

…if you want to

I was the first person to mention that the code used by Widgetbucks included a hidden link just a few hours after they launched, but the problem only really got noticed when Shoemoney wrote about this 2 weeks later.

Widgetbucks emailed their publishers today reporting an update in their code which you can include on your sites.

First of all they state:-

One of the concerns we’ve heard from many of you has been the slow loading times of our widgets. We really appreciate your feedback and comments in helping us improve in this area. So, today we addressed this issue by rolling out new code that ultimately delivers faster loading widgets.

They go on to say:-

Another option for updating code is to utilize the new categories and ad sizes we’ve incorporated over the last few weeks. Modifying a widget’s size or category — or creating an entirely new widget for that matter — will generate the new code that can then be re-copied to your site or blog.

They forgot to mention in the email that they had removed their enforced links which you weren’t allowed to modify. They could have left them in, as long as you were allowed to stick a nofollow on them, should you desire and were aware of it.

It still might be a bit spammy, but the problem was the “no modify” clause in the terms.

Here is the original code

<!-- START CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE --><script src="http://www.widgetbucks.com/script/widgetMagic.js" type="text/javascript"></script><div id="container_TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy" class="wbtw300x250"><a href="http://www.widgetbucks.com" target="_blank">WidgetBucks - Trend Watch - WidgetBucks.com</a></div><script type="text/javascript">writeWBStyles("www.widgetbucks.com");setTimeout(function(){var day = "" + new Date().getMonth() + new Date().getDate() + new Date().getYear();var widget = new mpireWidget("http://www.widgetbucks.com/widgets/wbtw300x250.swf?uid=TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy&apiURL=http://www.widgetbucks.com&day="+day,"TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy");widget.write("container_TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy");},Math.floor((Math.random() * 150) - (-(Math.random() * 150))) - (-200))</script><!-- END CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE -->

Here is the new code to compare

<!-- START CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE --><script src="http://images.widgetbucks.com/script/widgetMagic.js" type="text/javascript"></script><div id="container_TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy" class="wbtw300x250">WidgetBucks - Trend Watch - WidgetBucks.com</div><script type="text/javascript">writeWBStyles("images.widgetbucks.com");setTimeout(function(){var day = "" + new Date().getMonth() + new Date().getDate() + new Date().getYear();var widget = new mpireWidget("http://images.widgetbucks.com/widgets/wbtw300x250.swf?uid=TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy&apiURL=http://www.widgetbucks.com&day="+day,"TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy");widget.write("container_TiVAnRMsyRoS1hSy");},Math.floor((Math.random() * 150) - (-(Math.random() * 150))) - (-200))</script><!-- END CUSTOM WIDGETBUCKS CODE -->

I still have problems with some of the terms

  • 5. Client’s Obligations Upon execution of this Agreement Client agrees to:
    (e) not collect trends or data or information from the Paid Listings without prior written consent for Mpire.

    This effectively means you are not allowed to track the effectiveness of particular keywords

  • 10.Confidentiality
    (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to by Mpire

    If anyone reports data for clicks and earnings, they are liable to lose their account.

  • Even Google allow you to report earnings data, but not clicks

Sorry Widgetbucks, still no banana

They should also fix their SERPs and the dodgy redirects

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow

Comments

  1. says

    Well at least they have listened in part! :)

    Yes the #5 is another one. I have not problem with no disclosing earnings, I never disclose (except IRS) my earnings anyway.

    Thanks for banana (link)! lol

      • says

        I will not be surprised that yesterdays round “cements” me in the top 10 in the SERPS, of course we do not know what is going to happen with the G….. Hmmm I have and idea they should replace Matt Cutts with you.

  2. says

    Aside from the issues you and others have brought up with this Widget, I have only found one blog that states the application is actually making any money for the site.

    I see it everywhere, where are the posts declaring the greatness of this money maker? I would be interested in seeing some hints at it’s profitability if there are hints to offer.

    • says

      Terry that is the point, they are not allowed to under the Terms of Service.

      I know bloggers itching to reveal their stats, either positive or negative because it would be great linkbait, and if positive will likely enhance referrals, but they can’t.

      It is a missed opportunity

    • says

      I saw a couple of statistics on DP. People are claiming they have decent CPC (0.3$) and good CTR. Thus, many are thinking about replacing the old Adsense with this new Widgetbucks thingy. The truth is that Widgebucks might be suitable for some kind of sites (e-commerce mostly i might add), but i’m wondering if they are ever going to pay their publishers… We’ll just have to wait and see…

      PS: I tried Widgetbucks together with Adsense on one of my sites and i had trouble displaying channel statistics in Adsense… As soon as i took the widget down, statistics came right back… Weird

  3. says

    Update: We are (painfully) aware of the redirect config issue – hope to have that sorted out ASAP, as it is keeping us out of the SERPs – I actually submitted the bug report as “Dodgy redirects/SEO issue – thought you would get a kick out of that Andy.

    The removal of the back-link was simply based on publisher feedback about not being allowed to modify the HTML to place a “no-follow” for SEO purposes – rather than grant permission to modify the HTML we provide, we simply removed the backlink. That back-link, by the way, was never maliciously placed there – if you do not have the Flash Player installed, then we wanted to show a link to WidgetBucks, plain and simple. Hope this clarifies.

    • says

      The quick solution 2 weeks ago would have been just to stick a nofollow on it.

      Unlike the claims from other quarters, you wouldn’t have got a ban for that unnatural linking so quickly.

      Other monetization companies include a link, actually it is not bad practice, especially if you make it an affiliate link in noscript tags, which just happens to also pass pagerank, or goes through to some kind of search page based on the keywords.

      I know I have given you guys a bit of a rough ride so far, but I really love promoting stuff in an ethical manner and being able to write an in depth but positive review.

      Now all you need to do is find a way to allow publishers to track clicks with 3rd party tracking such as thy can do with other widgets, and allow them to report earnings.

  4. says

    I haven’t even looked into WidgetBucks much at all yet. After hearing about the shading tactics they were using I wasn’t really interested.

    Vlad, you’re at #9 for “vlad” here. We’ll get you there :)

  5. says

    A little offtopic rant: What was very annoying to me was that I didn’t sign up for Widget Bucks and yet my email is somehow placed on their mailing list. I didn’t opt-in or agree to any newsletter/notification and I’m getting the emails sent to their publishers.

    I had to opt-out a few hours ago and hmmmm… that definitely didn’t score any points with me.

    • says

      Maki that might be Jim’s doing.

      With the JV partners who were notified before release, Jim arranged for them to have accounts already created, which would also mean that they would have the email address attached.

      I think that is something I am not going to complain about too loudly, as I like having a little advanced notice occasionally.

      As long as they don’t claim I am a user unless I am (I currently haven’t included WB on any niche sites)

      • says

        I know its a JV thing but its just done in a completely wrong way. First of all, I didn’t agree to any JV, but was simply emailed an account and some generic email template sent out to probably a dozen other bloggers.

        I ain’t complaining too loudly. I could have written a nasty blog post about it but I didn’t.

        I wouldn’t have minded writing about WidgetBucks when it was launched but seriously, put some effort in pre-selling or pitching me.

  6. says

    Has anyone tested out the new widget? My main problem with the original one was that it was slow loading (my other main problem is my lack of earnings!). I’m thinking about getting rid of the widget, but if it is loading a lot faster I might want to utilize it.

  7. says

    Hi guys,
    I have written to WidgetBucks support about the referral stats and the benefits for us (and them) if they make the stats available in real time or at least without a month of delay and they’ve answered they’ve put that on their “requested features” list. I hope we will see it implemented soon.

    @ Dave
    The new widget seems really faster but still it is not the fastest possible.

  8. says

    One thing is for sure, Widgetbucks have had hundreds of thousands of pounds of free exposure. Agreed its not all been positive but as they say “all PR is good PR”.

    Personally, I like the widgets they are lot better than most “banner” ads.

    Sean.

Trackbacks