Should you start a link campaign or should you shift your focus to encouraging Social Shares?
Before you jump head first into a link campaign, you should know that both Bing and Google suggest that linking should be organic, a naturally occurring phenomenon.
Google has penalized sites with spammy and untrustworthy links with their Penguin update. They’ve even sent messages and warnings to webmasters about inorganic links.
Should you abandon trying to get links? Nope. Links remain an integral part of SEO and according to Google, it’ll remain that way for a while.
Don’t write the epitaph for links quite yet,” proclaims Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Quality team. Furthermore, he states there is a “…perception that, yes, everything will go social… or links are completely obsolete. I think it’s premature to reach that conclusion.
See Matt’s full comments here.
If you don’t know Matt Cutts, he’s been the main conduit of SEO info from Google to the Internet marketing community for about 15 years. Professional digital marketers listen and dissect Matt’s words like bankers listening to the Chair of the Federal Reserve.
If Matt says links will be an important ranking factor for years to come, it’s a good bet that he’s right.
But what about social shares like Facebook links, Tweets and +1’s on Google?
Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to share?
Duane Forrester of Bing says yes.
I am not saying links are dead or links have no value – let’s get that straight up front.
What I am saying, however, is that it can pay to keep the big picture in view and not get mired too deeply… don’t get caught up in one single aspect of the complex world of SEO.
Do social shares have more impact on SEO than links? Most SEO’s say no but there are some online marketers that disagree.
My opinion is that today, social shares are nowhere near as important as links for SEO. Good social shares are important for many, many reasons but good quality links have a more direct impact on where you rank on search engines.
Will social signals be more important than links in the future? Probably, so it’s a good idea to be encouraging both these days.
The best plan is to create great content. Then encourage others to link to it and social share the content.
3 things that every online brand (both individuals and organizations) ought to be doing:
1. Start amping up your social status. Make real connections with real people.
2. Be consistent with your blog posts – and make them relevant to your business model.
3. Gain trust within your industry and connect with other businesses that complement yours.
These practices can help you prepare for a future where both social sharing and high quality links can improve your online visibility. Both links and social share are ranking factors that are here to stay in the SEO world.
Image credit gemsling