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7 Social Media Websites and Their Impact on SEO

Written by and published

“The problem with social media is… there are more people writing it than reading it.”


Mixx LogoAfter being granted a credibility boost from the New York Times recently, it seems like Mixx is here to stay. The underdog of social networking, Mixx has a smaller following than other user generated content (UGC) sites, but was seen as worthy enough to be invested in by the Los Angeles Times.

Positive Impact

You can use Mixx’s smaller user base to your advantage. Any item that you submit to Mixx will be given a better chance of exposure, because there’s not as much competition as there is with a site like Digg. If you select your niche carefully and link to quality content, you can easily hit the front page of Mixx.

Negative Impact

Mixx can be a bit skewed. Before I wrote this article, visiting three different categories on Mixx presented the same story on “brooklyn decker. brooklyn decker topless.” Those three categories were “Random and Crazy,” “Animals” and “Odd News.” That title (and subsequent adult link) had no business being under any of those three categories and should have been buried.

Furthermore, under the “Football” category was a submission with a link to a business which had nothing to do with football. Mixx users can vote down these entries; but if they’re submitted to a niche category that isn’t too popular, those entries are going to remain visible for quite a while. Until Mixx users or entries become moderated in some kind of fashion, Mixx will struggle to compete with its more successful counterparts.



Sphinn LogoSphinn is a social site for Search and Internet Marketers. It’s designed to allow you to share and discover news stories, read and take part in discussions, discover events of interest and network with others.

Positive Impact

There are some really smart people at Sphinn, and if you take the time to sift through the submissions, you’re going to learn something. The leaders in the search industry are either at Sphinn or being talked about on Sphinn. Take the time to read their stories — you won’t be sorry.

Negative Impact

I often find some of the submissions at Sphinn as not “sphinnworthy”, meaning they shouldn’t have made it onto the front page. Submissions such as endlessly promoting your own work, submitting an entry about how a person has managed to reach so many number of Sphinns, and people submitting something that a search celebrity has written, knowing it will make the front page — this gets a little nauseating at times. Fortunately, I do see this as improving in the future, as a recent entry by Rob Kerry suggests.



Twitter LogoTwitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Positive Impact

Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. Twitter’s limit of 140 characters should not put people off. Think of your followers as a captive audience – they want to know what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and which web page you’re viewing. Remember, some of the most enticing advertising slogans and tag lines are short and to the point. Ignoring Twitter because of its limited character capability is a missed marketing opportunity.

Negative Impact

It’s easy to miss something if you’re not looking for it. To first put out your message on Twitter, you need to establish followers. This can be a time-consuming process. Beware of users who arbitrarily just add you to their list of followers and expect to be followed in return.

During times of heavy usage, Twitter’s servers are known to take a turn for the worst. This can be a pain if you’re at a Web conference and want to Tweet a link to a live blog. Still, there’s always mobile Twitter.



Digg LogoContrary to popular opinion, Digg is not the be-all, end-all of social media sites. Digg power users (top 100 diggers) have way too much authority on what goes hot and what doesn’t. As recently as January 2008, Digg changed their story promotion algorithm. This is how Kevin Rose described the latest algorithm update:

“As we’ve talked about in the past, Digg’s promotional algorithm ensures that the most popular content dugg by a diverse, unique group of diggers reaches the home page. Our goal is to give each person a fair chance of getting their submission promoted to the home page.”

Positive Impact

If your submission gets on the front page of Digg, expect a significant traffic increase for the website you submitted. Make no mistake, being popular on Digg can bring huge exposure.

Negative Impact

Getting on the front page is a challenge in itself. The rewards are great if you succeed, but it’s certainly not a sure thing. The recent algorithm change will hopefully see some parity and common sense in the popular news stories, but probably not.

‘The Digg Effect’. A popular story on Digg can create so much traffic that it becomes a headache – servers crash and websites go down under the weight of being dugg. If you submit on Digg, be prepared for a possible onslaught.

Unfortunately, a lot of the traffic resulting in being dugg does not get you much ROI. You’re not going to find sustainable and renewable traffic from the Digg demographic. The vast majority of diggers are after a one-time hit. LogoSocial bookmarking on is essential if you’re an SEO specialist or just an avid Web 2.0 user. The ability to have a place to store all your online favorites is not only convenient, but brilliant in its simplicity.

Positive Impact

When you submit and tag a bookmark, it provides exposure to the bookmarked website and also ensures that it will be indexed in major search engines. Taking the time to create quality tags can make the difference between getting bookmarked a few times or hundreds of times. Since relies on the social aspect of bookmarking, the traffic-to-user relevancy is generally pretty high.

You can also subscribe to particular tags of users. If there are only parts of a user’s bookmarks that you like in particular — say, something tagged with “SEO” — you can subscribe directly to that tag’s feed.

Negative Impact

Many users of are now using the social bookmarking service as their own private bookmarks collection. This completely takes away the social aspect of and the point of the website altogether.



StumbleUpon LogoChannel surf the internet with the StumbleUpon toolbar to find great websites, videos, photos and more based on your interests. StumbleUpon learns what you like and makes better recommendations.

Positive Impact

Dependable traffic. If someone stumbles upon your site, the chances are very good that the content is something they were searching for and will bookmark. You’re far more likely to get a renewable source of traffic from Stumbleupon than you are from being dugg.

Negative Impact

Hateful or abusive reviews. Having a difference of opinion is just something some people can’t stand. Be prepared to take some flack and be careful about which category you’re submitting to. Be certain it’s relative to the website and make sure you hit that fine balance between newsworthy content and relative information.



Reddit LogoA source for what’s new and popular online. vote on links that you like or dislike and help decide what’s popular, or submit your own! Reddit has been in the news recently, being blamed for a new Middle Eastern conflict.

Positive Impact

There’s something for everyone. Whether you’re promoting your own website or a client’s site, you should get decent leverage out of submitted content. Reddit has ample categories to choose from.

Negative Impact

Such is Reddit’s popularity that social agendas can be pursued through the site. See ‘reddit’s leaked algorithm’. That may be tongue-in-cheek, but the intent behind it is still true. Reddit is too repetitive in regards to the news stories that make the front page. At any given time, agenda-specific news items are almost a definite for going hot. Submitting to Reddit? Try hitting up Google Trends first; you want a sure thing, right?


Article References:

  • Top 3 Problems of Social Media
Social Media Example - Raven Tools

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15 Responses to “7 Social Media Websites and Their Impact on SEO”

  1. Doug Heil

    Hi, While that’s a nice roundup, etc, please tell me what this has to do with “SEO”? The title stated SEO in it but you did not expand on what impact these social sites have on SEO. SMM = social media marketing and not search engine marketing or optimization.

  2. Hi Doug, you could look at it from either SEM or SEO, so you have a valid point. We chose to include SEO in the title because we mainly use these sites for link building and driving traffic. As you rightly state, those sites can be used for SMM too.

  3. “Many users of are now using the social bookmarking service as their own private bookmarks collection. This completely takes away the social aspect of and the point of the website altogether.”

    —> That’s how it was promoted/explained to me. Access your bookmarks anywhere…

  4. SpostareDuro

    One thing that I have discovered about Stumbleupon is that they seem to slack off on the hate thing if they see that you are there for community and fun and not just to promote SEO (which a lot of them absolutely hate with a passion. They think SEO equals spam) Learning to do your thing with some balance offsets them and they move on to hating someone else. Go figure.

  5. Oliver Taco

    All good sites, and you are spot on with your evaluation. Added you to my RSS, good post!

    We have published a down loadable and annotated list of 2K+ social network/bookmark sites if you want to look beyond these seven.

    Just go to our site and click on the “Social Network” or “Social Bookmark” or google for “downloadable list” and we’re third. (Strange SERP, but there you go.)


  6. I’m a great fan of and use it everyday but I definitely treat it as my “private bookmarks collection”. My bookmarks are publicly available but I use the service for me, not for my followers.

    I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, I just don’t use all aspects of to their fullest extent.

    Nice roundup BTW.

  7. SEO Austin

    Nice review of the sites! Thought I’d add that, for me, the biggest SEO downfall of is the use of nofollow tags. If Google actually obeys them, they negate the link value entirely.

  8. Nathan Ketsdever

    Great post guys. Great to see you on the top Sphinns list.

    Stumbleupon by far wins. I just wish the more of their stats were transparent.