Why I Stopped Using Sharethis & Addthis WP Plugins

I recently learned that my blog’s robot.txt was blocking Google from crawling a few things on my site. 2 of them were b.scorecardresearch.com and www.bizographics.com.

Yeah, I was quite stumped by this and had no idea why 2 totally different websites would be doing on my site in the first place other than my site was hacked or something.

What is b.scorecardresearch.com and www.bizographics.com

Of course I did some Googling and researching and actually found out that if you lookup those 2 sites, they are totally blocked from view in the search engines. Nothing shows up, but maybe an error message or a white screen.

Then I learned that these 2 sites are associated with advertising and tracking visitors. They have also been associated with hacking into computers and websites. They basically track what you do and then I believe they try to put cookies for when you do make purchases they make money from the sales. Or shoot you spam from the type of sites you’re into. I have no actual proof of these things. It’s just what I learned when doing a bit of research on them and why are they hidden from view.

I was a bit floored from this.

I want nothing to do with spamming, hacking, tracking for these type of purposes. And definitely don’t want my sites to ever be associated with this type of behavior or be enabling others whatsoever.

Sharethis and Addthis WP Plugins were the Culprit

I did some researching and discovered that share-this and Add-this, 2 very popular wordpress social plugins use b.scorecardresearch.com and www.bizographics for tracking purposes.

This was quite a bummer.

Since I researched and tested multiple social plugins for wordpress and finally came up with Sharethis as my favorite a few years ago. I used it on this blog for years. I liked all the features it had and liked how you could just have 1 Big green button that said Share and it popped up all the social and bookmark sites. It showed how many shares for each post so I could easily see what type of posts were the most popular for sharing.

But as soon as I learned that Sharethis and Addthis were associated with these 2 sites – www.bizographics.com and b.scorecardresearch.com who have a reputation for hacking and other shady behavior, I quickly erased all files for either one of these WP plugins.

How I Learned that www.bizographics.com and b.scorecardresearch.com were running on my blog?

Just the other day I wrote a post about trying out the Mobile Friendly Test Tool from Google. Not only does that tool show you whether your site is mobile friendly, but it also shows other crawl errors and etc.

It showed me that those 2 sites were on my blog and that the robot.txt were blocking Google spiders from crawling them from indexing them on my blog.

– The thing is that ShareThis and AddThis WP plugins are very popular and have a ton of features and never have been known for any type of shady behavior. I might even be going a bit overboard here for not using them ever again. But just Google about those 2 tracking sites and you’ll see the dirt on them all over the net. And they are definitely associated with Share This and Add This.

An Alternative to ShareThis and AddThis WP Plugins

I actually wanted something simpler and lighter and found exactly what I wanted. Simple Share buttons adder

This WP social plugin has simpler features and options. But you can still change the color and look of the buttons and easily add just about any social sites that you want to. I also like how it runs really light and does not affect the length of time a page opens up like other social buttons can do.

I guess the lesson here is to regularly analyze your site, and as of now Google seems to be King with Webmaster Tools which of course I’ve always used, but also their other free tools like the mobile friendly test tool. Or I would’ve never known about the issues on my site and probably used addthis and sharethis wordpress plugins for a very long time.

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