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Will adding AddThis to pages drop PR?

     
5:22 pm on Jun 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We recently implemented AddThis to our website and with 30 days all rankings dropped along with the homepage PR taking a hit for the first time in 8 years.

My question is will adding the AddThis button leech out PR on a big site and effect the sites overall PR rankings?
5:55 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We had addthis on our multi-million page/visitor site, and removed it after about a year. I don't know if it was draining rankings, but it was not particularly used and was also one of our worst performing widgets on the page (in terms of download time, etc.).

You can go through the code and make sure that you nofollow anything they try to stick in...
1:28 am on June 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There's more than bleeding PR at stake when you add widgets and gizmos. The bleed can be plugged with nofollow but several things can't like page load times, repeating words on every page, distracting visitors from real content etc.

I doubt it killed you rankings and you will likely see the site bounce back right where it was when the "auto-evaluation-after-change" period is over, however long that lasts.
5:09 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback fellas. Didnt Matt Cutts say something recently that even if you use a nofollow it will still count as a PR hole though?

Given that the AddThis landing page for the script is PR 10 it must be sucking out juice. I really havent noticed a decrease in page load speed locally because of it but GWT is telling me otherwise.

Pageload speeds slowed down by double starting exactly after we implemented it though so it is probably better to just rip it out I reckon.
5:13 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Didnt Matt Cutts say something recently that even if you use a nofollow it will still count as a PR hole though?

The exact change is this:

Before: 10 links on the page with 1 nofollow >> PR vote is split 9 ways
Now: 10 links on the page with 1 nofollow >> PR vote is split 10 ways.

So now, one tenth of the available PR vote goes nowhere.

[edited by: tedster at 6:41 pm (utc) on Jun 27, 2010]

6:35 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We are using AddThis in all our pr 6/5/4 pages and found no pros or cons in terms of PR. The image, js is hosted on our servers and hence doesn't affect the yslow ratings. The image links to bookmark.php which gets auto updated on their end; no maintenance on our end.
8:01 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I added one of those 'bookmarking widgets' to a well-performing blog about a year ago and the rankings tanked about a week later. Took it off and the rankings came back in about the same time.

After checking, later, I can't believe how much It had increased the page code, load, & (bloat).

[to be fair, I don't remember for sure if it was addthis or some other companies code I added.]
9:08 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I too noticed the slowness brought by placing the widget on the main page. Like getxb I hosted the image and js. Still saw slowness due to their html page served offsite.

Just checked the stats of one site that gets ~10k page views a month. Two usages......buuuhhhbbbyyye! (Took it off). Added to 'to do' list of other sites weekly tasks.
1:29 am on June 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Listen carefully to what hoople says-- the actual usage of this widget is nearly nil in our experience as well. Deploy it but monitor stats, in the end I think you'd be better off with either a retweet button (if you're a business sort of site) or a facebook like button (if you're general interest), plus an email and bookmark link.

People don't really post things to delicious, digg, myspace, etc anymore, and certainly not in any large numbers, which was the original intent of the addthis/share this button.
1:44 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In our case, 44% of AddThis use is to email the content. Only 10% are favorites and 9% used for Facebook. Until we can have a more robust Email to a Friend script (prior to Addthis, we used a script but was spammed to death), we'll use AddThis.

We never saw a decrease in traffic from search engines or attribute any change in PR with our use of AddThis.
10:16 am on July 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've implemented the AddThis widget to my sites and it is actually used quite a lot by my users - the majority is for Facebook/Myspace and similar site shares.

I would say each site is different - but for me its usage is of benefit.
 

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