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Linkbacks From Widgets

How to make sure your linkback passes PR



6:21 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm not a developer, so please bear with me if I sound like an idiot. But I do know what I want -- I want to get a widget created that other website owners will place on their sites, giving a link back to my site.

My developer tells me that my widget will be created in an I frame, and that the text link back to my site will be "outside" the I frame when placed on a site.

I asked my developer -- what if the other site just removes my backlink? Answer -- this could be partially controlled by writing some Java script so that the widget is disabled if the link is removed.

Question: Is this the only way to "protect" my link back? Even the java script could be disabled. If I create a widget to give me link backs, is there any way to ensure my link stays in place on the widget when it's put on another site?




6:31 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member agerhart is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It's a risk you run when you develop a widget that is made available for public consumption.

Some people may modify the code, remove a link, etc.

If you design your widget in a way where the link isn't obtrusive and the widget is useful I bet the majority won't remove the link.

If your widget is highly successful you can have tens or hundreds of thousands of people that grab it. If 5% of those users removed the link would it really matter? Probably not.


2:00 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the response. It is helpful to know that I'm not missing some obvious workaround. It sounds like you would not even bother with java script that disabled the widget if the link was removed, since it would necessitate a lot more code, and even the java script, in the end, could be disabled.



12:57 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is helpful to know that I'm not missing some obvious workaround.

I think the developer's workaround is perfectly valid. Presumably the widget does something that needs processing power on your site.

So the first thing it does is check if there is referrer data. If there isn't, fair enough, but most people using the the widget (and certainly enough to make it worse than useless to the person installing the widget) will have referrer data. That means your script can verify that your link is on the widget users' page and display less than helpful output when it isn't. (Like widget code is not installed - tell the web owner to stick to the spirit of the deal).

A stronger method would be to give each person taking the widget code a unique URL for the iframe bit (with some kind of checksum) and use the iframe URL to identify the widget's original web page and check its validity. To do this, every person using the widget on theor site would need to say the web page they are installing the widget on, before using it - which will reduce the number of people that could be bothered to use the widget. So I'd just go with the developers' idea.

P.S. An iframe is also not the only way to add a widget.


2:16 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks -- really appreciate all that info. Could you perhaps mention how else a widget can be done, other than I Frame? This widget is a sort of question game -- the user picks the answer to a question that offers several choices, and it all keeps refreshing in a random fashion, pulling from our database. (Hope I have that correct!)




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