There is always a bit of chatter about what Google will do when Social Media Linkbaiting becomes so mainstream everyone will be doing it. Will they De-value the particular page if it has a high ratio of social media links indicating that this pages authority was driven by social media linkbaiting, or will they simply not trust a site that has “social media spam” signals?
Personally, I don’t think they will have to do a thing. The Networks are doing a very good job at stamping out what is deemed to be spam. Digg installed a toolbar to artificially inflate it’s traffic whist making it almost pointless to spam Digg anymore as lazy bloggers will be linking to the short Digg URL instead of the targeted one. Reddit has become heavily moderated and now deletes many stories, while others get too many downvotes to reach the from page. Finally, Stumble Upon’s algo has advanced quickly and not nearly as many stories are getting 5 stars and going popular. Also, Stumble Upons traffic is of a much lower quality that of Reddit or Digg (you didn’t think it could get any lower right!), but it can! Stumble Upon’s users are much less likely to link, that’s because the profile of the users is different to those of the other two main networks in that stories are random and forced and not chosen.
Of course, there are other networks, Plurk, Twitter, etc, but in our experience, these do not work well for “links”. I think “link baiters” are being forced to go and find new ways to get links while staying within Google’s guidelines.