Don’t Use the AddThis Social Sharing Toolbar. It’s Bad for SEO!

AddThis is a social media sharing toolbar that many websites use to let their visitors share information with social space. It’s small, easy to install & even has its own analytics feature. So why do I have a problem with it?

AddThiss Toolbar and the Offending Links

When checking the outbound links for some rather large sites, I noticed that clients who used the AddThis toolbar were linking through a followed link on every page to the website. Which means, equity and trust built up by every page theoretically gets passed through and lost.

AddThis Toolbar & SEO

AddThis Toolbar & SEO

I don’t personally believe in Google PageRank as a sold SEO metric, but look at its PR9 with a total of 418 Million backlinks, which is insane!

So what should you do? Either develop your own social sharing toolbar or use one that doesn’t link out on every page. For WordPress, I suggest using “Sexy Bookmarks”, it’s relatively lightweight and doesn’t link out to the mother site.