Link Building With Widgets


The following is an excerpt from a thread on theSEOBook Community forum*, it’s a good one and indicative of the type of information being shared. 

 The post was part of  an ongoing discussion on content aggregator widgets and their effectiveness as a link building tool. (*this is a members only forum so unless you’re a member, you won’t see the thread)

A forum member asked this question: 

“The links are coming from people writing about the widget and posting links to the widget download page, or the link is embedded in the widget? Any special tactics for attracting the downloads, or is it generally emailing industry relevant bloggers?” 

Aaron answered the guy first with a detailed response and suggested you can embed a link or two in the widget, then I came along and said this: 


Seeing examples always helps – let’s take a look here:

IMO, SaneBull has done an awesome job creating many types of widgets, they’re listed here:

Click on the link “Currency Converter” and you’re taken to a download page that includes a description of the widget and the benefits of using it. It’s important you tell people why the widget would be a benefit to host, don’t leave it to them to figure out. (I highlighted the verbiage in yellow to give you an idea of what to say)


I use for a number of the widgets we make, they have free (ad supported) and paid options and take the “technical” hassle out of making widgets. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can, check out their  gallery

Regarding content widgets, here’s an example of the type of thing we’ve had luck using:
People love love love to see themselves in print so I make sure the widgets we set up run the URLs of the sites we’re targeting. For example, if I’m working in the coffee niche and I build a widget, I’ll fill it with feeds from authority/well-ranked/groovy coffee blogs and then hit up those blog owners with the widget promotion. The vast majority of the time the blogger bites and we land the widget. 
A handful of promotion ideas to get your widgets out there, after all they do no good sitting on your site:
1.  Submit to the widget directories.  They’re not highly visible so it’s best not to rely on them as a distribution outlet but you’ll pick up some downloads. 
2.  In-house promotion.  Email your client/customer/associate list and offer the widget before it goes public.  Tie the announcement in with a contest or similar promotion such as “be one of the first 25 to download the widget and we’ll give you $100 credit toward your next purchase”.
3.  Issue press release.  Consider offering a promotion here but with a smaller credit.  ($25 credit vs. $100 you gave to customers)

IMO, widget linking is one of the best  link building tactics out there because it’s topically targeted (people  in your niche will host the widgets) it’s viral, it provides value to the host site and you get a quality link that stays in place for a long long time.

So why share this?  Two reasons:   1.  The widget link building tactic outlined works and 2.  being part of a forum, paid or free is worth your time and money.  I have no financial, personal, cultural, or spiritual interest in any of the paid forums but I believe in the quality of their content and the people behind them.  I’ve listed the free forums in the past, but here’s the three membership forums I’ve had experience with and recommend:

SEOBook Community forum  and sister site
PPCBlog Training & Community

SEO Training Dojo**

WebmasterWorld members area

 **  SEODojo is offering 25% off any subscription until July 30, 2010.  Promotion code:  debrarocks .  Thanks to Dave and Terry for the discount!  🙂