Social media has become an indicator in Google’s 200 item bag of tricks. Google raised the bar over a decade ago by looking at search as something the internet could help weight for its’ own users. The link means it’s good approach changed the way the industry approached weighting or relevance. Social media has in some ways replaced the link weighting concept of old.
Google’s philosophy of search changed the way we prioritize relevance on the web years ago. The simplest way to explain this is to say that they viewed links to a website as a vote for that site. Relevance had to be taken much further than what a page says about a company but to the level of what the internet says about a page. When a person links or references a page that is verifying that page as a source worthy of the time to link to. This is basically the philosophy that helped to develop the original pagerank concept that made Google the best and groundbreaking.
In the early days of search Yahoo and MSN search lagged far behind with their mostly contextual evaluation models of ranking websites.
I cna confirm this as I lived through this time period and ranked hudreds or thousands of websites on both and learned the differences. From 2003 to 2006 you would not search for “WSOP” or “World Series of Poker” on MSN or Yahoo search and not find 7 of my affiliate poker sites on page one. This is until President Bush outlawed the game online in 2005 and severely cut into my weekend fun budget. Yahoo and MSN just had a mainly on page formula that allowed for short term thinking and approaches while Google less so.
Problems and unwanted side effects of Google’s inventive weighting model soon arose. Google had essential invented link spam the moment they weighted it. Blog spam, forum spam and link exchanging models appeared all over the internet and left Google with a 10 year long game of whack a mole. Google had “invented the cancer” and now was selling their search website as the cure. Week after week Google would come out with new solutions to some form of the link spam they had invented.
Time have changed, with the rise of social media as an indicator of people interests and opinions Google has seen this as the next indicator of what is rank sites based on. Most indications say the “social footprint” is not a huge indicator but clearly one that Google is taking into account. The social media linking works on two levels for site owners. First the evidence of a social presence and the saturation of that presence with shares, likes and exchanges is a sign of a business with substance and site with content. The second way is more basic as it generates links through sharing, blog sharing and even RSS embedded links and gives good old fashion incoming links on wide ranging C classes.
In marketing for a business SEO Companies can promise link building and promise on page changes or keyword analysis but should always look as SEO and social as a long game by nature.
I have always viewed all of my projects as a slow long process that should set the goal of operating in the black, hands free and built in a way to grow exponentially even once I am not actively putting time into it. I learned years ago reading Robert Kiyosaki that trading time for money is never plan that has an endgame. I apply this to ever client, website and even my personal projects. Social media like Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Twitter provide yet another tool to achieve this approach. When you are gaining customers, links authority in search and search engine saturation through the sharing of others in social media you are at the same time exchanging their time for your money. It provides a way to tempt other to do the work of marketing for you. With every share, LIKE, Retweet or PIN unsuspecting fans of your product or service recommend you to their friends and grow your brand.
In the long game os SEO and social you watermark a picture on Pinterest, you SRT file a video on Youtube (visit The Marketing Heaven) or you build an RSS feed + Yahoo Pipes = Twitter bot, and years later you still reap the benefits of long term thinking to you inbound marketing.
Todd Kron of Sellaholics is a veteran of Analytics, PPC, Display, video, UX, conversion optimization, affiliate programs, web design and web programming since 2002. My background includes affiliate sales to 6 figures, director of a web design agency, and currently the digital manager for a leading energy company located in Huntersville, NC. From search to sale 1000 different ways is my background. Sellaholics is a Google Partner Agency.