The Social Boat
We’ve been saying for a long time just how important it is to connect with your customers and clients through social media sites, and recently the search engines have further validated our position. Bing’s Duane Forrester stated that “If you’re not engaged socially, you’re missing the boat” when speaking at an event in Texas. (Incidentally, it was in the same forum that Matt Cutts of Google said they’d be penalising sites who manipulated search results through overly aggressive SEO techniques.) If that’s not another resounding recommendation to start pushing great content through the social sites, I don’t know what is.
At the last count, 96% of 18 to 35 year olds online were on a social network. If you release a new piece of content that creates a lot of internet noise that your fans amplify (and whose friends and friends-of-friends then amplify further), Bing and Google have both overtly said that they will pay attention to the social explosion, as we’re sure the other savvy search engines will too.
This is extremely vital. Search engines care about the crowd’s opinion.
If highly shared content is given a higher ranking in searches, search engines are then able to judge how other users from around the world are engaging with the content, meaning that there’s no easy way to manipulate shares as there is with link building strategies.
Short term attention from content pushed through social networking sites is likely to result in an easily identifiable profile of longer term link increases. This means that through the combination of links and social signals, search engines will be able to build a complete picture of how websites are being linked to – giving them even more power when determining the difference between natural ‘organic’ links and artificial link building strategies.
Over 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook. By creating highly shareable ‘crowdbait’ articles for your website that stand out from the other billions and cause readers to give off social signals, you’ll get the search engines to pay attention.
Follow our advice: don’t miss the social boat.