Social Media sites like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, and Delicious are highly authoritative sites which can dramatically improve search engine rankings if used properly.  Any SEO specialist knows link building is essential to improving search engine visibility, but some clients have trouble accepting social media as a link building tactic.

In order to help show how effective social media really is with respect to rankings I’m going to use a sample article promoted by Best Rank, Inc.  The article in question was promoted only on and succesfully hit the front page.  If you’re forunate enough to achieve the front page of, you’ll know that your story gets pulled to,, and many other mash-up sites across the web.  Below I’ve provided an overview of the keyword rankings, back links, and traffic generated by our social media marketing efforts:

URL:, and many other mash-up sites accross the web.  Below is an overview of the current keyword rankings, back links, and traffic generated by our social media efforts.


Page Title: Top iPhone Applications for Business Professionals Title: Top iPhone Applications for Business Professionals
Original Promo Date: December 17th, 2008
Reddit Points : 19 Total, 87 up votes, 67 down votes
Yahoo Backlinks: 62

Search Engine Rankings Updated: February 4th, 2009

Keyword Google Yahoo MSN
best iphone apps for business 1 19 9
iphone applications for business 1 4 1
top iphone business apps 1 1 1
iphone apps for business 2 24 9
top business apps for iphone 2 1 1
top business iphone apps 2 3 1
iphone apps for it professionals 2 8 11
best iphone business applications 6 5 4
iphone business applications 7 3 1
top iphone applications 12 21 8

Google Analytics Data

Time Frame: 12/16/2008 – 2/4/2009

Total Page Views: 7,117
Google Organic Views: 3,191
Google Unique Keywords: 1,514


Notice that we’re showing organic search traffic to a single page and not the entire site.  Wow!

The above case study is a great example of how social media marketing helps organic SEO efforts, as also illustrated in the below picture:

In our example, we did have a large traffic spike just like this picture and we also have a new, steady stream of traffic we never had before.  Pretty cool!

What have we learned?

After analyzing the keyword ranking data and Google analytics metrics here are my thoughts:

  • Social media links are effective when targeting mid to long tail keywords.  If your goal is to rank for highly competitive keywords then a more precise, anchor text controlled link building strategy is recommended to compliment your social media marketing efforts.
  • Google appears to trust social media networks as a source for quality back links and appears to transfer link equity, even if most social sites nofollow their links.  It’s also important to note that the residual back links created by other, interested webmasters, will also help rankings.
  • In most cases, social media marketing can help create a steady stream of organic traffic and fixed, longer tailed rankings (search engine rankings and organic traffic have been consistent since the 1st week of promotion). Refer to the Google analytics screenshot above for evidence on the consistency of organic traffic from Google.

For more articles related to social media please visit our social media category on the blog: category/social-media.  And of course, we offer social media services, check them out in detail here.


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gwen • 10 years ago

We have built a 109 promotion around social media. It started on 01/01. We review 5 social media sites a day that allow user generated content and that provide Do Follow links. Every metric has improved dramatically. The two leading the way are improved website traffic and inbound links, both are up dramatically. So yes, we are big fans of social media.

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Guillermo Bravo • 10 years ago

The Reddit profile did not have a substantial amount of suscribers, so the profile likely had little influence on the story hitting the front page of Reddit.  The story was promoted on using strictly profiles and networking through instant messenger clients: Google Talk, AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger.  This story was also submitted to simultanesouly to increase the likelyness of getting reddit votes (but was not promoted on

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Kaila S • 10 years ago

Just a note from one proofreader to a writer....the original promo date should probably be 2008 not 2009. Great information, btw.

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Mike Shannon • 10 years ago

Thanks Kalia, that's been updated

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Blue Dot • 10 years ago

Out of the four Media mentioned was one better than the other?

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Progress Expertise • 10 years ago

I think social media is one of the best ways of driving traffic to any site.. and the more traffic you get the better will be the serp results..

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Nick Stamoulis • 10 years ago

i think if you put together a link building strategy for a client and take a blended approach and incorporate all facets of online marketing you will without a doubt see good results. Now if only you and the client have the same idea of "good" is a whole new argument.

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Guillermo Bravo • 10 years ago

Digg will send you the most traffic, with very low average time on site (0:01).  Reddit traffic measures are very similar to Digg, with lower overall volume.  Stumbleupon will also send a substantial amount of traffic with a much higher average time on site (1:00+).  Delicious will get you noticed by many more mashup sites in comparison to the others, but it is very difficult to hit the Delicious front page.

It really depends on what your goal is, higher traffic volume vs. quality visitors.  In the case of branding, higher volume might the way to go.  If you want to build loyal user base with e-mail and rss suscribers then a higher quality visitor (higher time on site) would be better.

Check this article for more information on Digg vs. Stumbleupon

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P@r@noid • 10 years ago

That's an intresting find.. probably this is what most of the SEo expert miss all the time. Social media helps you to rank high in Search result even if you don't get huge traffic from them. The other websites give you lots of backlinks and that again helps you a lot.. nice post...Stumbled..!!! P@r@noid

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Jonas Goslow • 10 years ago

I like where you are going with this, or rather I like where my head is going after reading this.

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Art & Home • 10 years ago

Really enjoyed the article, lots of great information to consider while builing a social media strategy.

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SEO Company • 10 years ago

yaa i agree with you SMO play major roll for increasing traffic i have experience some top SMO Site, i use Stumble upon most of time and i got at least 100 visits per day and also recommended you if you want traffic SMO play major roll.... some tops sites give more out put like digg, stumble upon, twitter, if you want join me use govindseo as use find me!!!

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jai • 10 years ago

gonna include buttons in my new site now :)

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Ron Knight • 10 years ago

I personally thank the author for sharing such an awesome information with the blog readers. I am participating in Social Media activities. But, was not aware of the power of social media. This perticular article helped me a lot to enhance my social media activities and now I can think in right direction of social media promotions.

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Robinson • 10 years ago

Yes, I agree with with.. Social Media Optimization plays a vital in search engine optimization.. I am using Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Stumble Upon and get more traffic from these sites..Great Information. Thank you for Sharing.. Robinson Josh

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San Diego Web Designer • 10 years ago

I agree...the social media sites usually have high Page Rank and lots of traffic...whether networking, bookmarking, or tweeting, the trend is moving more toward social media than ever's here to stay and matter...

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SEO London UK • 10 years ago

Thanks for aggregating all best practices at one place, very valuable resource.

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sandy • 10 years ago

Hi, actually i want to know about the promotion of bookmark on social media website. I have bookmark my website on and now i want to promote it what is the way. Please help me. thanks.

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naman gaur • 10 years ago

I came across your article. it is good and very informative.
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Print Flyers for less • 10 years ago

I’m going to bookmark your blog for future reference. Keep writing awesome posts like this
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City Media Group • 10 years ago

This blog is really so informative and helpful for how to top in blog please keep update your post
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jim jason • 10 years ago

Thanks, that was helpful, social media is a great source of traffic
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