Google: No SEO value to links from social media


Nov 10, 2016
Google's John Mueller on Social Bookmarking for Links
Search Engine Journal
June 1, 2019

Google’s John Mueller on a Webmaster Hangouts answered a question about social bookmarking for links tactic. Google’s Mueller offered insight into how Google treats low quality link building.

What is Social Bookmarking for Links?
Social Bookmarking is a variation of forum spamming. The idea behind is that social media websites contain “authority” and that by creating links on social media sites, a new site could obtain some of this “authority” from those sites and begin ranking.

The problem with that tactic is that there is no “authority” signal. There is no such thing.

A web page can acquire multiple links from relevant websites and become authoritative for a topic. But there is no actual “authority” signal or metric.
In the above diagram, most SEOs would prefer the Strong Web Page for a link. But the Weak Web Page can be more desirable if it’s on topic. The “strong web page” could be less desirable if it’s not relevant.

A page with inbound links relevant for Topic A, will make that page relevant for Topic A. But if your page is about Topic Z, that link is probably not going to be useful to you in terms obtaining a ranking benefit.

A web page does not inherit authority, it only inherits links and those links only matter when they are also relevant.

So obtaining links from social media or social bookmarking sites does not confer any particular benefit because they are inherently irrelevant and any inbound links are also irrelevant.