I have often speculated whether or not having your content submitted or bookmarked into social networks and bookmarking sites could improve your site SEO. I know for a fact that you can for sure increase traffic to the individual pages and sections of your site that have been submitted or bookmarked. However, in doing so, does it actually help your site become more search engine friendly?
It would be silly of me to claim that I am truly an SEO expert. I am honestly not. I have much more experience in search engine marketing rather than search engine optimization. For those who don’t know, indeed, there is a huge difference between the two. A search engine optimization expert is one who specializes totally in making a web site truly a search engine magnet. A search engine marketing expert, in my opinion, is an individual who specializes in writing content for the exclusive purpose of ranking well in the search engines for certain targeted keywords or phrases.
With that being said, I consider myself to be more on the lines of a search engine marketing expert over being a search engine optimization expert. While I am not totally discounting out that I indeed have SEO skills, I just know that for there are many other people who have a higher level of SEO skills than myself. Also another thing to consider is the fact that I feel that SEO is slightly over-rated. What I mean by that is I think people tend to over-complicate the simplicity of having a search engine friendly web site.
On the matter of discussing whether social networks and bookmarking sites can indeed enhance your web stie SEO, I’d say that they do. I don’t believe that they have a very large impact on your web site SEO, but I do believe that there is a slight improvement. With that said though, the improvements or enhancements if you will, are not what you might expect. The elements that I believe are enhanced stems a little deeper than the default answer most people would assume to be increased backlinks.
While it is true, submitting your site, sections and individual web pages will help increase the number of backlinks, it is also true that many of these claimed popular social networks and bookmarking sites use the NOFOLLOW tag on external links. For those who don’t know what the NOFOLLOW tag is, this is a tag added to a hyperlink that disallows a search engine (commonly Google) from passing through the link to the destination site. In other words, when an external link has the NOFOLLOW attribute assigned, credit for that backlink is not given. Most all social networks and bookmarking sites use the NOFOLLOW attribute.
So as I mentioned, backlinks really isn’t something I would bank on. But still, I do believe that SEO can be enhanced with submitting into the social networks. For me, in addition to having SEM qualities, I too consider myself to be an “Out of the box” thinker. I tend to look at cause and effect a lot. I tend to observe end user patterns and behaviors. More so, I consider what people do when they find things of interest within the social networks. While most people would assume that the traffic and SEO is received from the submission into these networks, I more believe that it is what the community does after they find the content within these networks.
I have a personal blog of my own. Many of you reading this already know this. One of the most common things I do on my blog is share information with my readers. At the moment, I have around 1200 subscribers who read my blog daily. When I find something interesting on the Internet, my gut reaction is to share this information with my readers. By sharing excellent and rich quality information with my readers that helps my blog continue to grow. So, when I find something cool in the social networkings or bookmarking sites, I typically end up writing a blog post about my findings and provide my readers with a direct link to the source of information I found.
So you see, while the process of having your content listed in social networks and bookmarking sites might not technically help your SEO, in many ways it does. If your content is listed or submitted, then there is a very good chance that people who find it will end up writing a post about it on their blog or web site. When a publisher or blogger does that, the results are huge for your SEO. Backlinks indeed are very powerful and backlinks are totally needed to compete with higher competitive words in Google as well as other search engines. The more backlinks you have to your web site, sections within your web site and individual web pages within your web site, the better your SEO is for sure. So consider this, next time you discover that someone has submitted one of your web pages or blog posts into a social network.