Social Media and Google+
You probably know already that we focus on search engine optimization, adwords, online and offline marketing, and software to do the same.
Backlinks used to be the most important aspect, and they’re still very important. However, nowadays, especially after the latest Google updates, there’s a new factor that is rapidly rising in it’s relative importance for successful search engine optimization.
I’m talking about Social Signals of course you will for sure hear more about this in 2012. That’s because this is the year that Google is making an all-out push into social media and its integration into their search ranking algorithms.
So what are social signals? Very simple, this is just a fancy name for something you’re probably already doing — mentioning your blog posts or new sites on G+, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other such sites. If you do this, you’re already sending a signal to Google that the blog post or new site is important, and Google will then take notice of the fact that your content had a mention on the social sites. That’s the long and the short of it.
Social signals are a very good indicator for Google whether a specific piece of content has value — because these signals are supposed to come from humans. Of course the temptation is there to “trick” this new system, just like people game their backlinks today using the outlawed ‘link farms’.
But I advise against it, because determining if a social signal is noise or valuable should be quite easy for Google, with its massive computational resources. That’s because it is very hard for the ‘tricksters’ to avoid leaving any footprints of their activities. Even such innocuous factors such as the timing of the social signals can be analyzed and a fake signal will stand out like a big red pimple in the middle of legitimate data. That is exactly why Google is raising the importance of legitimate social signals in their determination of what is important and valuable content to show to searchers.
So what can you do? The solution is simple: write valuable content that will generate social signals naturally. It’s the old Google mantra all over again: write for the human reader, not the search engine. If people like your content then they will talk about it on Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus