As a whole, the search industry is putting more and more emphasis on social media for determining rankings – But just how much emphasis are search engines putting on social media? As social media gains more and more prominence among search engines, that also means that simultaneously the value of links is going lower and lower and lower.
How much weight are Google and Bing putting on social media today, and where are they likely headed in the future? Let’s take a look.
Step Back and Look at it from Google’s Eyes
Remember that Google’s goal in the world is to index all the information on the web and to organize it according to its usefulness. In other words, every algorithm Google writes is designed to do one thing: To sort the bad content from the good and to put the good upfront.
Now, ask yourself: From Google’s eyes, which is a more reliable metric of measurement? The number of backlinks an article receives, or the number of “shares” it gets on Facebook?
Keep in mind that only a small fraction of people actually own websites and blogs. Look at your own Facebook profile. How many of your friends have blogs or websites? By the same token, how many of them regularly post and share links?
The reality is, only a small subset of the internet has their own website. By only counting links from websites, Google is actually getting a very skewed version of what people like and don’t like.
In Google’s eyes, each link today is counted as a “vote” on that website’s level of quality. The more votes it has, the better the website is.
However, in reality Google is only sampling a small portion of the true votes that are happening on the internet. Every day, hundreds of millions of people “vote” on the quality of content by sharing it on social media. Google is completely bypassing those votes, in favor of the old fashioned backlink.