Google: Should we be social for the sake of it?
Just as a quick disclaimer –I’m not an SEO expert. But I AM a content writer, so I keep my ear to the ground when it comes to SEO. And what I’ve learnt in the last few weeks has made wonder – does Google still have a place for the unsociable among us?
Social, social, social
Apparently, it’s no great secret that Google is using social signals in their search algorithm far more than they used to.
These ‘social signals’ include links from Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Google also assess the ‘authority’ of the users posting the links in much the same way they rank the authority of a website; giving more weight to links that come from those users with higher authority.
What does this mean?
In short – if you’re not taking part in the social sphere, you’re not maximising your potential to bring in natural search traffic. At least, that’s the impression I get.
Well, what’s wrong with that?
To me – this move by Google has moved the goalposts for online businesses (yet again), leading to on-site optimisation becoming an even smaller piece of an ever-growing puzzle.
In theory, I’m not against social media signals helping to rank websites. But it seems to present a few problems.
- Social networks may become saturated with companies who don’t really want or need to be there.
- The value of companies taking part in social media per se will be become diluted – it becomes increasingly difficult to offer anything unique.
- The biggest brands are just going to get bigger and bigger, thanks to enormous customer bases and bottomless marketing budgets.
I’ve always been taught that being ‘social for the sake of it’ is a bad thing – but do we have a choice anymore if we need to maximise our rankings?
But I don’t have anything to say.
This brings me to my final point. What if your company is not a good fit for social? What if the product or service you sell, simply isn’t very interesting? After all, we all need to buy washing up liquid, but we don’t necessarily *care* about it, or want to engage with the people who make it.
How much do these companies stand to lose by not moving into the social sphere? If Fairy Liquid isn’t tweeting, will they start losing rankings and be overtaken by…Cif? (Is that a brand? You can tell I don’t do the washing up much.)
Should we still be giving the advice that if your brand hasn’t got anything useful/good/funny/interesting to say – you shouldn’t say it at all? Or is it too dangerous for brands, (even the chronically dull ones), not to be going social?
Filed under: Content & usability | 3 Comments
Tags: content, social media
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