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Ask An SEO Expert – No-Follow Links from Social Media

September 17th, 2012

by Emily Burgett

There are dozens upon dozens of different social media platforms to choose from and being engaged with all of them can seem near impossible. So how do you determine which forms of social media are most valuable for you and your search media goals?

In today’s Ask An SEO Expert feature, Jesse Laffen answers the question “How valuable is a no-follow link from a social media platform such as Pinterest?” and discusses how that value ties in to the relevancy of your content and the audience you are trying to reach.

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So the question is “how valuable is a No-Follow link from a social media platform, such as Pinterest?” The answer to this question kind of depends on how you want to determine what is valuable. So, if you’re talking about strictly SEO value or are you talking about value as far as driving traffic to my site, I’m going to address both of those separately.

So, the first question; how valuable from an SEO standpoint? In terms of SEO, we don’t necessarily tend to think of links or other signals as terribly valuable or not terribly valuable. We try to think of, “How is this going to help the user?” Because really the best links are the ones that are relevant to you, ones that lots of people want to click on.

So, when we think of things in terms like that, with SEO value, then the link from the social media site really depends on, did you find the right person to talk to? Are you in the right conversation? Is this the right kind of platform or niche, where I could find my target demographics? So something like Pinterest, which is pretty heavily populated by females, if that’s your target demographic then maybe, yeah. That is a really, really good link. Especially if it’s in the conversation around kind of what your website sells, or whatever service you are providing from your website.

In terms of what is value as far as, will it drive traffic to my site? Oddly enough, it kind of is the exact same answer. As Google works harder and harder to figure out what are valuable signals, they’re always looking at things like, “Does this link provide relevance to the end user?”, “Is the document that it’s coming from and the document that’s linking to, are those things kind of matching up?”, “Do they make sense?”, “Should they be related?” If they are, those tend to be the kinds of things that are really helping rankings.

So, I think that’s really the best answer. They’re both rolled into one. If it’s a valuable link for you and your business, if it’s going to drive traffic, then it’s probably also a valuable link from an SEO perspective.

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