Has Google Devalued Social Media Links?

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about Google devaluing the weight of certain links. In particular, any links that it finds in blogs, directories or social media sites. The main reason for this chatter is that these types of links are pretty easy to get, and the purists out there believe that you should actually spill blood when optimising your site. So, is this true or not because it really doesn’t sit right with me.

Why would Google spend so much time and effort coming up with a unique way of valuing links and then throw in a blanket policy for certain sites?

We all know that the weight of links is based on many different things:

1. The value (uniqueness) of the content on the page that’s offering the link.
2. The number and quality incoming link that page has.
3. The number of other links you share the page with.
4. The anchor text within the link
5. The relevancy of the content on the linked page.

And there are many many more criteria. Also, with all the arguments surrounding off the topic link and widget baiting, buying sites for SEO and building doorway pages why would Google suddenly decide to target blogs and social media sites.

Well, I can officially announce that they don’t. Or I can point you to an interview with Matt Cutts where he clearly states that they don’t, and that’s god enough for me.

http://www.marketingspeak.com/audio/matt-cutts-interview.mp3