Yesterday, Gooogle issued a warning to webmasters to remind them that links within widgets are against Google Webmaster Guidelines.
The post, published on the Webmaster Blog said,
Google has long taken a strong stance against links that manipulate a site’s PageRank. Today we would like to reiterate our policy on the creation of keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.
Widgets can help website owners enrich the experience of their site and engage users. However, some widgets add links to a site that a webmaster did not editorially place and contain anchor text that the webmaster does not control. Because these links are not naturally placed, they’re considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Google has reminded widget makers to remove any links from their widgets, or make them no-follow (you can do this by adding rel=”nofollow” attribute to the links). It has been warned that the “webspam team may take manual action against unnatural links,” and that if manual actions are recieved, the links must be deleted or made no-follow before a reconsideration request is submitted.
The then went on to give examples of widget links that are unnaceptable, and said that those who have widgets embedded in their sites with these links, should delete the links or make no-follow immediately.