Do you use AddThis? Read This.

November 11th, 2010 by Chris

AddThis is a great service. It allows webmasters to easier add social media integration to any page of their site. I like the service, I use the service, I recommend the service.

However… there is an issue you need to be made aware of. Something I have overlooked previously, and I am not the only one I’m sure.

Older style AddThis buttons use standard anchor tag links as part of their functionality. These links point to and of course AddThis has benefited by getting a Google PageRank of 9 out of it.

For every legacy AddThis button you have on your site you’re sending a sliver of PageRank to them. And like a death by a thousand cuts, those slivers can add up to serious weight if you have enough pages on your site, like many do (especially people with forums).

Of course, maybe you were smart and back in the day you edited the code to make the link nofollow. Unfortunately with Google’s change to how they handle nofollow you’re not helping yourself at all by using it anymore. By using it all you’re doing is not helping AddThis. When Google made the nofollow change I went through and changed most of my nofollow links, but I forgot about the AddThis buttons until recently.

On some of my larger sites I literally had tens of thousands of external links pointing to, taking weight away from my own internal links. This is not a good thing.

Luckily, AddThis has a few newer (beta) buttons using primarily javascript with no standard functional links included. I highly recommend going through your websites and updating to these new button styles. It can be a significant PageRank boost if you plug leaks like this.

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