Savvy web marketers are turning to social media marketing to boost their social signals and spending less time on backlinking efforts due to the new search engine algorithms in determining the best websites.
In March of 2012 Google announced that backlinks are no longer the priority when searching for the sites that will ultimately rank the highest in its search engine.
Following suit to Google’s initiative, the other search engines, such as Bing, are following suit. Social signals are the new measure for how effective online marketing is going to be in order to rank highly in the search engines and gain the necessary exposure for businesses to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.
Backlinks used to be the holy grail of creating an effective online presence and were used by search engines to determine how valuable a website was.
Now its the social signals that count
The more high quality backlinks a website gained the more of a resource they were considered to be and the higher the search engines would rank them in their search pages.
With the onslaught of social media, that has all changed. For a website to become well known, it must gain social signals by way of Facebook “Likes”, Twitter shares, Google +1’s and other social media engagement.
This is because search engines realize that real people’s opinions count more than being able to beg, borrow or buy backlinks that have little reference to how much the public actually values a website.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land says, “Both Google and Bing have added many social search features over the past year. There’s also been talk about using “social signals” to help rank regular search results.”
In order for websites to succeed with social signals, there must be a measurement and tracking systems in place that allows them to analyze and strategically plan their social media marketing efforts.
That is WordPress plugins such as Social Metrics Pro comes in. It allows web marketers who are serious about search engine optimization success to have an easy to use platform to track and monitor their social marketing and social signal results.
Here at the TechJournal, we track social via the JetPack WordPress plugin. We have also noticed that traffic from social media sites is increasing steadily and that do seem to have an effect on traffic.
Daniel Tan, the partner of Social Metrics Pro, who has also worked with several major companies and startups says that Social Signals are found to have correlation with ranking improvements, as high as 60% on many cases.
“We have been tracking social signals on the sites we manage and we do notice that the correlation of social signal with ranking improvements are now more obvious than the past, and this is an interesting observation”, Daniel commented.
“It’s not surprising to see backlinks get less weight and social signals get more weight, as social votes are often backed by a real person, much more reliable than an anonymous backlink”.
Here’s a video from Social Metrics pro on the topic: