Why Social Signals Are More Important Than Just Quality Content

submit   December 6, 2011   Comments Off on Why Social Signals Are More Important Than Just Quality Content
The use of social signals is one of the most under rated content based marketing strategies available to modern day internet marketers. 
Most marketers who use content creation are familiar with the well known benefits of unique high quality content and building back links to improve search engine rankings. 
But few are aware of the just how powerful social signals have become since the recent Google Panda update, which has completely changed the algorithm which determines what pages reach the front page of Google. 
Writing fresh high quality content and building back links are still important and relevant, but they are not as highly regarded on their own as they used to be. The Panda update changes are designed primarily for content that is highly recommended in large numbers. 
Now obviously a piece of content that is high quality is much more likely to be recommended or voted on than a low quality article, but being high quality is not enough on its own any more. Google realised that the best way to determine the relevance and quality of content was ideally based on the "social activity" that surrounded it.
The video below goes into more detail about the Panda update and is presented by a SEO professional. It is well worth spending 10 minutes of your time to get a clearer understanding of the changes that have occurred due to the Google Panda update. 
What is a social signal?
Social signals are basically considered a vote of confidence in a piece of content. People can share and vote for content simply by clicking on widgets which are set up for various social networks, just like the picture below. 
People can vote for content in a number of ways which include like, share, retweet, digg, stumble upon and many others. The best way to describe the whole concept of social signals is simply "SOCIAL BUZZ". 

social signals
Why You Should Be Using Social Signals
The more votes that a piece of content has, the more people trust the content, and in turn the more likely they are to read it. Just think about it, would you be more likely to read a piece of content that has 83 retweets or 2 retweets?
The problem that we have in this day and age is that there is too much content to choose from, and we need a way to be able to easily filter out what is worth spending your time on. 
Social proof sends extremely strong signals to the entire internet that your content is worth paying attention to. This is the ultimate filter as people trust the content if the masses have voted for it. 
Google has even created their own "Plus One" button to participate in the social signal party. This is even more proof of how serious Google is now taking social signals.
How You Can Start Taking Advantage Of Social Signals

For a start you should be using social widgets on your blog to encourage people to share and vote for your content. These can easily be found simply by searching Google for them. 

I personally use the WordPress plugin called "Digg Digg" and highly recommend it. You can see this widget on the left hand side of all blog posts on this site. 

To help you to maximise your numbers of likes, shares and retweets you can join a syndication community. The community bond together to vote on everybody's content that is part of the community. 

By voting for other people, they will vote for you in return. This creates the ultimate WIN/WIN outcome, but only works well if you are part of a large tight knit community.

To learn more about social signals and how you can become a master at it, I highly recommend registering for this free Social Signal Webinar

To start using a program that will enable you to participate in a content syndication community, you can not beat Synnd Lite. This is an awesome free program that will enable you to get started immediately with this strategy. 

Image Copyright (c) from 123RF Stock Photos social signals.