I read a great post this morning at InventorSpot titled

As the Algo Turns- 7 Predictions for Search Engine Marketing in 2009

Prediction #6 was this.

Social Media will become a major brand and link-building device.

While I agree, I also felt compelled to leave the below comment.

But…those of us who are in the link building business need to recognize and respect the distinct culture of social media networks. Social media is not there to be exploited for SEO. Don’t ask “what can social media do for my links”. That’s just spam2.0. Instead, ask, “what can I do to contribute to the conversation aside from link drops”. If you have nothing to add but company and/or client links, frankly, your wasting your time, and ours. If you worked for the engines, would you really trust anything about social links enough to incorporate it into a ranking adjustment? Maybe In certain cases, and for cetain topics, but if you spend some time looking through the social apps, you’ll see they are polluted already by the usual suspects.

Some perspective. A couple years ago I wrote an article for SearchEngineLand titled Social Link Manipulation, where I tried to explain my position that SEO or marketing driven social linking is a pointless and ugly link building tactic. For goodness sake just become an advertiser. Don’t pollute the river.

I’ll flesh this out in a longer Social Media Linking Best Practices post soon, but you tell me, am I just spitting in the wind?

NOTE: To ask a link building related question, click the Comments link below, or the Post a Comment link at the bottom of any individual post. You can also email your question to LBBPQ@ericward.com

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  1. says

    That’s a good point but still there’s no question that social media links are still sought after. There has to be some type of contribution. Otherwise, social sites will continue to make backlinks no-follow.

  2. says

    There is something to be said about not polluting the waters. But a fundamental maxim of society is that there are givers and there are takers.

    While you might be “spitting in the wind” it’s what a good citizen would do.

    Thanks for you contribution.

  3. says

    As a guy running an online marketing shop… that doesn’t currently write content…the content rule and “passion” for the topic rule are really sinking in for me. Clients are always looking for that next SEO trick. It occurs to me more and more that we can only do so much if we don’t control the content. Need journalists. Thanks Eric.

  4. says

    Find A Puppy – I receive about 30 blog comments a day across the various posts. 99% of them are spam, and I don’t post them. How many do you think I’d get if I followed comment links?


  5. says

    I don’t know about you guys, but when I find a guru giving advice on link building, and then they have the no-follow attribute set on the comments section, it really makes me wonder…

  6. says

    Well this is an interesting topic because social media sites can provide an authoritative link if its within your niche, and yes they’re going to be abused no matter what.

    When I think of possible solutions I can only come up with one. I believe it’s fine to be rewarded with a link like you said, only if they are taking part on the site. So with that being said, social media site owners could implement a system like some forum mods have. Once a certain level of activity has taken place they either get the ability to have a link, or if they have a link, the nofollow tag gets removed.

  7. says

    Good point, Michael.

    Of course, all that spamtastic abuse may finally be what convinces Google to reassess the way they determine results, right?

    Maybe that no pain/no gain thing is in place. We have to suffer through the spam storm so that Google will wake up ad change its perspective.

  8. says

    As more people strive to create social media resources, they will run into the link spam problem. f more voices are raised in favor of participating in the discussion, creating value in the site, and helping others with useful links, maybe fewer SEOs will resort to link spam.

    Teaching the future social media site creators not to link spam will help them build strong social media communities, in my opinion.