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These days we hear a lot about social media, and recently SEOMoz has been disclosing a great deal of information about how social media will affect your SEO, so let’s have an in-depth look at the value of social links. It is important for you to understand the impact of social linking on your website.
It is important that you do not ignore the distinct connection between placing high in the search engines and having popular social content. Both Bing and Google have confirmed that they do include social linking or social signals in their rankings. The other search engines have not come forward, but you can assume that they will follow the same trend.
Are Social Links Worth Your Time?
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The first thing we need to mention is that just like normal link building, some links will have a higher value than others. Most of us are familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but there are millions of different social bookmarking sites. However, just because they exist it does not mean you need to be social linking with them. It’s highly unlikely that Google is actually watching the activity on every one of these social media platforms.
Which Social Networks Count in Social Linking?
Great, but then which ones should you be focusing on. The most popular ones like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Reddit, and Digg. There are others. Look for the ones that have established themselves and that are trusted as a social media platform. Watch for those with a large following, and that have profiles as public so that the search engine is able to index all of the profiles and learn about the users on the sites.
Of course, users will share links in a different manner depending on which social media site it is. For example, Facebook is much different that Reddit is. Yet Reddit and Digg are quite similar. The search engines use a system that evaluates the links, which is then applied and will define how you rank.
Trust and Authority
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When talking about social media, user trust and authority are the two major influential link metrics. This is because both Bing and Google have confirmed they incorporate the elements of trust and authority into how they evaluate social links.
How you will incorporate the elements of trust and authority will vary depending on your site. On Facebook, the user’s profile is public. The search engines are able to see your wall and your information.
The same applies to Twitter. The search engines are able to see the tweets and they are aware of who is following you and who you are following. For example, while Charlie Sheen may be extremely popular on Twitter, it is highly unlikely that he will be seen as any type of authority by the search engines, and therefore being associated to him would be of no benefit to you.
Then again, if you run a SEO service and are seen as authority in your field, and you have 100 followers, you can be seen as a trusted by the search engines and that will help your ranking. However, someone like Rand who is also a SEO service and more than 35,000 followers would be seen as a more trusted authority than you would be. So you get an idea of how this works.
What you need to take away from this is that the best method of gaining social media authority is to connect the authorities in your industry, share content that is valuable and grow your network.
The concept of social linking is still relatively new, and there is certainly plenty we still do not understand. In addition, it’s likely the rules surrounding social linking are likely to change quite often. However, don’t let that stop you. Jump on the social linking bandwagon today and use it to improve your SEO placement. By the time most site owners figure out what’s going on you’ll be miles ahead of them and a pro at social linking.
Check out our previous articles:
- Twitter and the Politeness Game: Etiquette on the New Social Giant
- How to Leverage Social Reviews
- How Pinterest Helps Internet Marketers
- Top 5 Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses
- Blogging in the Age of the Penguin
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