Installing Kontera WordPress Plugin Would Risk Getting Your Blog Penalised By Google
July 13, 2007 by Gaman
I was reading JohnChow.com when I came across a post about a plugin for Kontera from Shupe.ca. The developer claims his plugin will help Kontera publishers install Kontera ContentLink on their blogs easily
As a Kontera publisher myself, I could see how this plugin facilitates Kontera ads integration into my blogs. Since I was planning to install Kontera on several of my blogs and didn’t fancy tinkering with the code, I had decided to give the plugin a try.
Once activated, I noticed that the plugin was installing extra code into my blogs footer in addition to Kontera ContentLink code. However, the extra code was hidden with Cascading Style Sheet (CSS).
Below was the extra code:
<a href="http://www.shupe.ca/articles/wordpress/plugins/kontera-dynamicontext/?version=2.0" title="Rodney’s Kontera DynamiContext Plugin">Rodney’s Kontera DynamiContext Plugin</a> plugged in.
<li><a href="http://www.rodneyshupe.ca/" title="RodneyShupe.ca">RodneyShupe.ca</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.rodneyshupe.com/" title="RodneyShupe.com">RodneyShupe.com</a></li>
<li>Check out Joomla Resources at Rodney Shupe’s<a href="http://joomla.rodneyshupe.com/" title="Rodney Shupes Joomla Resource">Rodney Shupes Joomla Resource</a>.</li>
<li>Check out WordPress Resources at Rodney Shupe’s<a href="http://wordpress.rodneyshupe.com/" title="Wordpress Resource">Wordpress Resource</a>.
Below is the resulting output if the text isn’t hidden.
According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, and I quote
hiding text or links in your content can cause your site to be perceived as untrustworthy since it presents information to search engines differently than to visitors.
If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages.
Now I don’t see how the hidden text added by the plugin developer is necessary here. Clearly it’s there to gain some search engine advantage in a deceptive manner and this can be mistaken as spamming by Google.
The code uses the following style sheet code to hide the text
The visibility: hidden hides the text, but it takes up space in the layout while the display: none removes the text completely from the page and it does not take up any space even though the HTML code is still present in the source code.
Matt Cutts has written in his blog that he doesn’t recommend people to use the above CSS formatting to hide text.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I hope the developer will consider removing the unnecessary code to save unwitting bloggers from Google penalties.
I came across an alternative Kontera plugin by Big Bucks Blogger.com that seems to be more versatile than the Kontera WordPress Plugin.
Pay per post publishers will be happy to know that this plugin will let them keep Kontera links out of their pay per posts. To be honest, I haven’t tried it myself. If any of you have, please share your experience in the comment section.