Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The diminishing value of links

"Build links" is the usual advice you get if you want to improve the traffic to your website.
As we all have been told by SEO professionals and the search engines themselves, the way to get higher placed in organic results is to have great content and to have high ranked sites link to yours.

Simple stuff!

So, unsuprisingly, the typical approach is to use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other such services to build links to your site.

But hold on a minute.... how much value is a link from one of these sources?... well, if our research is correct.... very little and some times none at all.

How come? Well, there's a certain piece of code that a lot of social media sites wrap around links to external sites called "no follow". This basically tells the spiders of Google and the like not to go down this link, perhaps because the content cannot be trusted.

So in effect, all the links you build or encourage within these sites do not count towards your SEO efforts.

What's worse is that even some blogging platforms now, by default or by user choice, also use this "no follow" code. And on top of this, so do some social bookmarking and news sites. Ouch!

And you thought this SEO and Social Media stuff was easy
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