Are Social Signals Replacing Links?
Social Signals & Links Sharing Influence
In the grand scheme of things, social signals seem to be gaining ground on links in terms of influence. Previously, it was thought that links were the only way to go – the more of them you had to your credit, the better off your website would be. High SERP rankings were just a link-building campaign away, and as a website rose through the ranks the owner’s profits would rise as well.
But now, all of that is changing.
It is still true that higher rankings almost always lead to higher profits, it is now a matter of what exactly a website owner must do to get these rankings. Social signals (a term used to describe the results of social network activity i.e. Facebook ‘likes’), now considered by many including the major search engines to be more likely to be authentic than the average inbound link, are fast approaching a point in time where they will be just as if not more important than links in search ranking algorithms.
Will Social Signals Replace Links in the Future?
The likelihood that social signals will surpass links in importance as a ranking factor is very high. No one can say for certain if this change will ever occur in full, or if it does, when we can expect to see it happen. The inner workings of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are known only to their innermost circle of developers, but we can say that if trends continue to develop as they have these past few years, social signals will continue to gain momentum and importance.
The value of a relevant link back to your website from a high-quality website will never completely vanish. So while it might be a good idea to shift more of your brand’s internet marketing focus towards social channels and your activities there, don’t give up your link-building outreach programs just yet. Continue to create guest posts to your blog and create your own high-quality and original content. Keep building links with relevant local businesses or partner up with other brands in your niche. Above all, provide value for your site visitors because satisfaction is the name of the game when it comes to doing business online.
The satisfaction of your customers is also an important ranking factor of sorts. Having a user-friendly website that consistently offers high-quality, relevant, fresh content to the people who visit it is something that should be on the top of every brand’s priority list.
If you want other brands and individuals to link back to your website, you have to provide them with something worth linking to. If you want people to share your blog posts or tell their friends and connections about your website, you need to be consistently providing them with something to talk about and share, be it the lengthier content on your blog or something that you have posted to one of your social profiles.
Do you think that social signals will replace links in terms of ranking value?