It is always a pleasant surprise after sharing a piece of content on social media to get a link to your site that is "dofollow" (not restricted from being followed by the search engines). This way, not only do you manage to expose your content to a lot of potential "direct" visitors, but also to improve its positions in the search engines for certain keywords.

Not all social links are dofollow. And normally, the more reputable a social site is, the more likely it is to make its outgoing links (especially comments links) nofollow in order to prevent spam. However, there are certain ways to get dofollow links to your posts from some of the major social media sites.


There is a plethora of social sharing and social bookmarking sites on the Web, but the majority of them are not really worth your attention, because you'd barely get any direct Web traffic from them. Instead, let's see what major, highly-trafficked social hubs allow you to do both: get visitors and PageRank value from your social links.

1. Google+

Not all links from Google+ that point to your content are dofollow. For example, the links you get when sharing text content are nofollow. The links people insert in their comments on Google+ are nofollow as well.

However, if you specifically click the link icon in the "Share what's new" section, the link you provide will be dofollow.

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2. YouTube

YouTube allows you to add a description to any video you upload and to include a link to your site in that description. However, that link is nofollow.

Now, I’ve come up with a little trick that could get you a bit more value from your YouTube channel. J Thing is, you can add links to your channel’s header. And, the social links you add there are actually dofollow!

So, if you’re promoting a free-hosted WordPress site or a Tumblr blog, the link that you add to your YouTube channel’s header will be dofollow. But for that, the URL of your blog should end in wordpress.com, tumblr.com, etc.

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So, as far as getting SEO value from YouTube links is concerned, here is the deal:

  • Social links in channel’s header are dofollow
  • Other links in channel’s header are nofollow
  • Links in YouTube video descriptions are nofollow

3. Pinterest

Apart from letting you bring the visual side of your brand into spotlight, Pinterest also lets you link to your site from your profile, and that profile link is actually dofollow.

Image Contrary to what it may look like, links in the "Pinned from…" box on Pinterest are actually internal and don't lead directly to your site. So, just keep that in mind.

4. LinkedIn

If you look at your LinkedIn feed, you'll see that it's full of links to third-party sites that are, in fact, dofollow. These are often short links (such as http://lnkd.in/GB9z-s), but still pass PageRank via the 301 redirect.

However, if you search for these posts on Google, you won't find them, since Google doesn't really have access to a big part of LinkedIn content, and hence those links are likely not taken into account to determine your page ranking.

The only part of LinkedIn where I've seen links that may be capable of passing some SEO value is in "My Publications" in my public LinkedIn profile. Those links to my online posts are dofollow, however, these pages are accessible via 302 redirects.

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Well, the official Google's on 302 redirect is that they are temporary, and hence such links don't pass PageRank. However, there have been multiple accounts by SEOs who have seen rankings boost from 302 links. This likely depends on how long your "temporary" redirect has been around.

5. WordPress

A WordPress blog takes only minutes to set up; and you can do it for free. It may be a great solution for anyone doing content marketing and looking to attract visitors to their site by means of publishing articles on third-party platforms.

When you create a post on a free-hosted WordPress blog, you have a choice of making links in it dofollow or nofollow (the CMS system allows you to do that). However, to prevent spam, WordPress nofollows all comment links and profile links by default.

6. Hubpages

You may've noticed that some "hubs" have dofollow links in them, while some have nofollowed ones. According to Hubpages themselves, either your account needs to have a particular number of points (75) or the score of that particular hub needs to be at least 40 for you to be able to provide dofollow links in your hubs.

Hubpages.com is pretty much like WordPress in the way they fight comment spam: it doesn’t let dofollow links in comments or profiles either.

7. Tumblr

Tumblr is another popular blogging platform that used to provide a loophole for unethical online promoters until recently. Before, if you reblogged a Tumblr post (as opposed to giving it a Like), the link in your profile which showed up in the trackback would magically become dofollow.

Right now it looks like Tumblr has caught up on that; and trackbacks from reblogged posts are now all nofollow.

However, if you simply share a link to your content on Tumblr by pressing the green Link button, that links will be dofollow. Besides, to encourage the Tumblr crowd to like or reblog your post, create a compelling custom title and description for your blurb.

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8. Blogger (Blogspot)

As you probably know, Blogger is presently owned by Google. Many say that Blogger posts get indexed incredibly fast. Yet another advantage of having a presence on this platform is that the links you get from Blogger posts are dofollow.

Now, if you try to place a link into a comment to a Blogspot post, most likely your URL will not get converted into a hyperlink by default (at least I've never seen this happen).

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But even when Blogger comments do have hyperlinks in them, those links are made nofollow, so you won't get SEO value there.

9. Reddit

Reddit is a popular social bookmarking site that lets you bookmark about any type of your content (images, videos, text, etc.). The great part about Reddit, is that it links to your post directly (not via a redirect), and that all links from it are dofollow.

So, if you haven't got a Reddit profile yet, it's probably worth setting up one. To bookmark a URL on Reddit, just click "Submit a new link" in the upper right corner.

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10. BizSugar

BizSugar is a community where people create and/or share small business news and tips. So, if your content is around the topic of business, entrepreneurship, social media, online marketing or similar, go ahead and register with this site and click "Submit an Article" to proceed.

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BizSugar employs a team of moderators to prevent mindless spamming, but the link you get to your content is actually dofollow. And, if your post gets a significant number of "Sugars" (upvotes), it's likely to get featured on BizSugar's homepage.

A way to speed up the process

Now, after going through the list, you may think "nahh, I don’t have the time to share each post on 10 different websites. Plus, I have Twitter and Facebook accounts to manage, too".

Well, there are social media management tools (like BuzzBundle, for instance) that allow you to share links on multiple social networks at once. Besides, many SMM tools let you store all your login information and accounts history in one place, which means you only need to log in to one app to post to the above-mentioned networks.

Conclusion

To sum it up, I'd like to mention there is no guarantee Google or other search engines will actually take those social links into account when assessing your page’s rankings. However, many site owners have observed their possible effectiveness.  For example, SearchMetrics recently did a study that demonstrated that higher rankings are often correlated with a big number of Google + shares the piece receives.  

Know another social media site that provides dofollow links? Do share your findings in comments!

 

Image credit: iStockPhoto by alexsl