To give your site the SEO edge it needs, it’s vital to keep up to date with the latest news and updates to Google. Besides learning new things about SEO when updates occur, it’s equally essential that you unlearn outdated SEO information. Using out-of-date tactics not only wastes time and resources, but it can also hurt your site by lowering the quality of your content in the eyes of Google. In a recent Hangout, Google’s John Mueller took the tune time to debunk some old myths about social bookmarking.
Despite the name, social bookmarking isn’t really related to social media. Social bookmarking is a way for people to manage their website bookmarks in an online location. Using sites like del.icio.us and digg.com, people can save links to web pages that they like or want to share. These bookmarks are usually public, can be viewed by other members of the site where they are stored, and some services allow people to vote on the links.
Social bookmarking is a good way to share links with friends and a target audience. However, the SEO benefit of social bookmarking sites is limited. Some people believe that getting their links on a social bookmarking site would provide useful backlinks that would boost the site’s SEO. In a recent Google Hangout, John Mueller explained why this isn’t necessarily the case.
During the session, a user asked, “I social bookmarked my site. After one week, I noticed that the site which I bookmarked has been marked as spam. Do the pages have any effect on my ranking?”
In response, Mueller explained, “I don’t think those pages would have any effect on your ranking because probably we’re also ignoring those social bookmark sites, the links from there. That’s a really, really old SEO strategy and we have a lot of practice in recognizing those kinds of links and just ignoring them.”
Mueller’s response shows that Google is adept at identifying and removing content that is trying to improperly influence the SEO ranking for a site. It’s also a reminder that Google will always catch onto SEO tricks and adjust its algorithm accordingly. This dynamic is why the best way to boost your SEO is to have a long-term strategy that includes creating high-quality content that’s relevant to your site and the target consumer.
This discussion on social bookmarking is a good place to debunk the idea of “authority” and backlinks. Google does value some links more than others, but relevancy is more important than where the inbound link came from. If your website has five backlinks from a popular site, but the links aren’t really related to the content, it won’t help your SEO rank much, if at all. On the other hand, if you have highly relevant links from a smaller site, that will help because it indicates your content is useful to people who care about a subject.
As usual, the entire Google Hangout session with Mueller is interesting and contains a lot of information that’s helpful to website owners and SEO marketers. For more recent news about changes and updates to Google, read this article on Google adding website favicons to search results.