Incoming links are one of the most valuable assets a website can have. As various search engines determine a website’s ranking, they will often look to see how many other sites are linking to that site – the size and popularity of that site determining how valuable each link is.
However, what you may not have considered is that you don’t necessarily want to use to same link in a guest post bio, for instance, as you would when you submit a link to Facebook.
Most social media sites have no follow links, meaning they won’t directly be used to contribute to the ranking algorithm. So when you post a link to your homepage on Facebook, people will be able to see it, comment on it, and like it; but none of that “link juice” will be passed from Facebook.com to your own site.
So what is the practical application of all of this? It mostly has to do with mindset and strategy.
When submitting a link to a social media site, you have to keep in mind that the goal isn’t to increase your SEO – at least not directly. You shouldn’t be worried about your link profile or your PageRank or what Google’s robots are going to see. What you should be worried about it whether or not humans – actual people – are going to be interested in the link.
Are they going to want to share it with others? Are they going to “Like” it?
Is it going to drive traffic to your site and expose people to your brand? This is where and why it’s important to craft content intended for the actual reader.
When dealing with directories and other websites, that human interaction is less important. In fact, you may not want the search engines to rank a specific page over another page – like your home page, for instance. You’d much rather use that link to promote your home page or your about page or perhaps a sales page.
You’re not really going to do any SEO harm by occasionally submitting the wrong link to the wrong medium; you’d mostly just be missing out on an opportunity. You also run the risk of annoying your social network by not sending them links they actually care about.
So keep all of this in mind as you work to build your business and grow your website.
Scott Spjut is a writer and editor who has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and websites – including Newsweek, the Washington Post, CBS News and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Scott currently works with Professional Marketing International helping people change their lives.