What’s The Future Of Social Signals

I believe social signals are becoming the new “link” in terms of Google’s ranking algorithm. While I don’t believe the value of links as a ranking signal will ever completely disappear, I do believe that direct and indirect impacts of social signals will eventually surpass links as the most valuable ranking factor.

Why? Several reasons:

  1. The world is becoming more social. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s consumers, and they are being raised communicating on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. As this generation ages, more consumers will spend more time on social media channels, likely causing an increase in social signals as those consumers interact with their favorite brands on the Web. People already spend more time on social networks than on search engines, and the gap will continue to grow.
  2. People are more likely to trust a website recommended personally by their friends than by a search engine. Websites with a strong social presence are more easily shareable and accessible, and thus easier to recommend. Search engines can also analyze these shares as recommendations, boosting the credibility (and rankings) of the website.
  3. Websites with a strong social presence have better conversion rates and brand loyalty, leading to more sales, more word-of-mouth referrals, and greater brand awareness, which all lead to more positive reviews and inbound links.

– adapted from an article by Jason DeMers