I wonder when Google is going to realize they have unleashed a monster. In the last few months they have been saying they are giving more weight to social media “likes” and “follows” and less to backlinks. Whole industries have been spawned to make social a mainstay of internet marketing.
Google believes with social it’s harder to game the system because it’s a better gauge of a website’s popularity (and thus relevancy to the searcher) than just going out and getting backlinks and this is true since the owner of a website with poor content can get just as many backlinks as the owner of a website with good content. But it’s still possible to game the system with social by adding content to your blog and to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, etc. that is not even remotely relevant to the subject matter of your website but will get more likes, re-tweets, and re-pins. I’m talking about humor, pithy sayings, random thoughts, funny pictures, and other interesting stuff totally unrelated to what the business is about. Those will more likely get passed on than the boring, mundane industry stuff that has appeal to only a very small segment of the population.
I’ll give Google about 2 years to come up with an algorithm change that actually determines if the Facebook likes and Twitter re-tweets actually have anything to do with the subject matter of the website being promoted. Once again we will see whole industries rise and fall based on what comes from the computer geeks at Google as they dabble in social science.