There is a lot of buzz within SEO the community about this. When you publish a blog post or article, are social signals like Facebook Likes, Twitter Tweets, and Google +1′s becoming more important for ranking than traditional back links?
Google’s Matt Cutts weighed in about this in a recent interview with Danny Sullivan at SMX Advanced. Here’s a 2 minute excerpt of the interview:
The net net: Quality back links are still important and will be for the foreseeable future. Social Signals will gain in importance, but as Mr. Cutts says in the interview, “dont write the epitaph for links yet…”
As Barry Schwartz points out in his post on Search Engine Roundtable, “Social does factor in big time when you are on Google+ and searching logged in.”
So we have to pay attention to social signals, but it’s important to take in what Matt Cutts is saying – links are still very important.
I was discussing this with Matt McGee at a conference, and I like how he summed it up. At the conference, a presenter was showing how much better certain articles ranked than others, and the ones ranking better had more Tweets and Likes. Matt said, and I’m paraphrasing here:
“it’s important not to confuse correlation with causation. The # of tweets isn’t making the article rank better. But the fact that it was a good content piece that many people shared, probably resulted in it getting more links!”
To learn more about getting back links (quality ones), listen to my recent podcast interview with James Martell: Backlinks, the Hardest Part of SEO.
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