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On my site, I want to give the user the ability to copy the code for our little support badge, and then paste it onto their site/blog.

I'm accomplishing this by adding <textarea></textarea> tags in a widget in the sidebar, and the code for the badge is in between the tags. Would this affect my SEO in any way, since it's just a snippet of HTML coding that is visible, and not real content?

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No it would not harm your rankings using textarea in the sidebar but the more suited tag would be <pre> your code </pre> or just text using <p> <span> or even <div> would be more ideal. If your have attempted this but your cms is convert raw text into links then disable that filter within that widget.

Additionally having badges with the same type of link on many sites can harm your rankings so be careful and don't anchor text keywords and preferably get them to use a nofollow which still helps and they may even prefer that, this is assuming that the badge includes a link.

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The code of the badge is like this: <a href="http://mysite.com/"><img src="http://mysite.com/badge.png" alt="keyword"/></a> would this be safe? – Gkhan14 Aug 5 '13 at 22:27
depends on volume, Google works by having a link profile on each site and works on diversity, if you have too many the same type then this can be counted as a negative, also placement of these links are also a factor. like 100s of sidewides, its very complex. But truly depends on how many you expected to get, if were talking less than 10 then no problem really but if 100s then you should be careful., Googles system is setup to pickup foul play even though this sounds legit, Google bot may think its not, thats the risk you take... Google dont have anything well thought out. – Simon Hayter Aug 5 '13 at 22:38

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