Friday, 6 July 2012

Backlinks Vs Social Signal SEO - Matt Cutts' Thoughts

Are you concentrating a lot on getting more +1's, Facebook shares, tweets etc? Well Matt Cutts seems to think that you need to concentrate on building backlinks more than you concentrate on improving your social signals.Matt says that for the foreseeable future, SEO will be bossed by backlinks, the more quality backlinks your site or blog gets, the more your rankings go up in search.Let us do some detailed study of this.

What are Social Signals?

Social signals are signals that tell Google search that this particular page is being shared a lot by people, so there must be some great content on it which needs to be pushed by the search results.Social signals are of many types, let me explain a few of them.Also Read - Floating Share Buttons

Facebook Shares: Whenever someone shares a blog post or an article of a website to Facebook, it gives the idea that, that person feels the content on the page is good enough to be shared.So if more and more people share the post to Facebook, it creates a general idea that the post is really good and needs to be promoted in search.

Twitter Tweets: Works the same way as Facebook shares.

Google +1's: This is an aspect of social sharing that is most important when compared to Facebook and Twitter shares.Google directly enhances search results of pages which receive a lot of +1's.There are several aspects to this.If a more influential person such as Amit Agarwal +1's a post, the post will appear higher when anyone of his 400000 followers on Facebook search for a matching term.

So basically social signals can get you more traffic, more backlinks and more search ratings, but it fails in comparison to the effect that quality and natural backlinks have on the search ratings of a page.

Here is what Matt Cutts had to say about social signals and SEO -  

Matt Cutts seems to think that social signals are definitely not as important as backlinks, he says even in ten years this situation may not change.

Also Read - Matt Cutts On Page Load Speed

Why Backlinks are more important than Social Signals?

Backlinks are treated as more important than social signals for the simple fact that social signals can be easily manipulated using sites such as AddMeFast and YouLikeHits, which Google has no control over, nor can they detect the use of such sites.

You might say that backlinks can also be easily faked, by buying tons of backlinks.But this can be easily monitored by Google.This is actually why the updates such as Panda and Penguin have come up, to monitor fake backlinks.

So, I think you get the point why backlinks can be treated as more important than Social Signals.But the perfect combination would be to have good natural backlinks + tons of followers or various social networks so that the social signals get developed automatically.

Any comments are welcome, please let us know what you think is more important, backlinks or social signals?
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..