When Will Google Begin Devaluing Social Links; Such As Digg.com, Yahoo! Answers & del.icio.us?

Dec 20, 2006 • 8:04 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A slow but very interesting WebmasterWorld thread asks, "Is Googe Devaluing "Social Content" Links?" Tedster, WebmasterWorld Admin, said;

It's not a big secret. Webmasters looking for a ranking boost have been using "web 2.0" tactics for quick link building. Even folks with long-established sites began to dabble in this trendy area. It sounds pretty innocent, doesn't it? The question is being asked even by major corporate web teams. While this trend mushroomed, I've been wondering how long it might take for the Google algo to defend against this kind of link, which really is not the kind of "earned vote" that they most want to reward. So, has the time arrived?

This is all stemming from that Google Webmaster Central blog post named Building link-based popularity that also sprung this debate.

Now, Google tells us to "focus on the users and not on search engines when developing your optimization strategy." But it is my understanding, that the point behind these social sites are that they are the human vote. To get to the top page of Digg.com, please need to like your content, and if people don't then you won't get on the top page. Why do SEOs want to get to the front page of Digg? Well, not only does is send a lot of quick traffic, it also encourages Digg users and others to blog about your content. That means more links. More eye balls, more links.

So you have two obstacles here. Assuming that a link on Digg.com in the eyes of the search engines may be valued at a normal level. The SEOs first need to get their content on Digg.com, ranking well. The second thing is they need to have people write and link to their content on their own sites.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Eric Enge

12/20/2006 04:27 pm

Seems to me that links you get based on being on the front page of DIgg, as well as from other social sites, do represent endorsements. It may be unfair, because certain people have much better access to this than others, but I am skeptical that search engines will do anything about it. After all, even without these sites, certain people have better access to high quality links than others do too.

Chris Beasley

12/20/2006 10:56 pm

Links from the social networks themselves may or may not be devalued. The thousands of secondary links readers of such sites will add to your site if you get prominently featured will not be devalued because they are: A. Impossible to discern from any other link from a technical standpoint. B. Actual endorsements as Eric mentions above.


12/21/2006 01:34 am

I think it is up to the social search sites to keep spam out. If they get bombarded with spam, then Google might just devalue the entire site. That is why I think all the little guys will die because they will get overwhelmed with spam and just turn into link farms.

kelvin newman

12/21/2006 11:17 am

I hope the engines continue to see the links from the front pages as valuable, those that have risen through the rankings have reached a certain popularity which should act as an endorsement, the other "one digg" stories are a completely different matter.


12/21/2006 11:38 am

It is an interesting point. In my own experience I used digg.com to ger my sites listed quickly on google. Non of my stories ever got listed on the front page of digg.com, but it sure helped Google to "discover" mysites. I also can see Google's point of view.


12/27/2006 06:43 pm

Although I havn't checked this today, I am sure that links from del.icio.us have rel=nofollow anyway, don't they?


09/07/2007 02:39 pm

Links are not what it use to be any more. Especially with the recent event of Google devaluing directory links. We all know the engines can be manipulated, so it is a lot easier for them to play down this trend by manually editing search results than letting the algorithm run its course.

Sara Howard

05/02/2008 11:47 pm

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No Name

10/03/2008 07:42 am

There is a big difference between being on the front page of digg and submitting even page of your entire domain and only get one vote for each submission.

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