| 2:00 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
Is your audience active in the social sites?
Are you active in the social sites?
If you answered yes to both of those questions, then it is probably worth it to link to the social sites. Otherwise you might want to reconsider. There is a chance of potentially diluting the link juice by adding unnecessary links and let us not forget the potential risk to usability by crowding your page layout.
I have redeveloped many websites and when it made sense removed their social links and other times I have added social links. I have been able to achieve positive change both ways. It depends on your situation.
| 2:21 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
My audience is not social at all.
I tweet or post at least 3 times a week.
It would probably just suit my site to have social links only on main pages. Thanks for the input.
| 2:37 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
I have removed direct links from every page except home & about page, since the rich snippets testing tool started reporting them as author links. I already have follow/like buttons on every page.
| 5:51 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
There are two kinds of social button links, ones that lead to your profiles and ones that lead to the social network sharing option to post content on visitor profiles.
- If you link to your social profiles sitewide in hopes of generating visitor interaction on the social network ask yourself if that interaction is valuable enough to warrant a sitewide link.
- If you link to the sharing feature of the social network in hopes of having others talk about your site on their profiles ask yourself if the word of mouth is valuable enough to warrant a sitewide link.
My finding is that the second example is infinitely more worthwhile in the long term than the first. A 300 page site for example links to the social network 300 times, once per page, but may eventually end up with thousands of mentions on thousands of DIFFERENT social profiles.
Your goal regardless of which method you prefer is to determine if the buttons are being used or not because if they aren't and you've made a concerted effort, ditch them. Also, Google knows what a social button is and may already discount their existence on a page, only Google knows. I really think they could and should disclose this too so that people stop worrying about linking to various social networks.
Concern: if you link to the social network sharing page it's likely that you have hundreds of links pointing to different urls on the social network since each page appends it's url into the social sharing url. I'm worried that Google looks at the value of each link in part by examining the linked page, which would always be brand new and unused by anyone else. e.g. it may look like a low quality social profile instead of a sharing option.
| 2:47 pm on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
This is an excellent question that I've often pondered and never seen a great answer to.
Do social share/social link icons dilute page juice that would normally go to your subpages. Google could kill facebook so fast if true...Cutts just has to answer a random question about this...say yes to a degree a facebook link would divert attention/importance away from subpages...and wala...webmasters stop linking to them (because it is bad SEO) and facebook crashes.
As is now...the popular sentiment is that linking to facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc...is the silver bullet to making your site rank better in google, but I have yet to see a well thought out argument explaining why.
Certainly it adds to screen clutter and pushes down your content from the most valuable top portion of the screen.
I hope google clarifies how these social media icons influence rankings one of these days...
| 4:18 pm on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
If they dilute, I can't imagine it would be much. Not something I worry about; my pages all having sharing options, and there are links in my sidebars.
| 5:07 pm on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)|
By most comments and my own understanding, I think the simple answer is; if you feel it will engage your audience to a higher degree; it is worth a site-wide link.
Otherwise, it is just a distraction that may turn some people off; if they have no social intents with your site.
Does anyone concur with that?