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A lot of discussion has been floating around the air recently with recent Google updates Panda and Penguin causing a major shake up in the SEO industry.

Many have discussed that SEO is on a road to become a thing of the past, although as many previous changes in SEO that have occured over the years, all that occurs is the good SEO’s will adopt best practices going forward and stop what isn’t working.

The question is what is going to work going forward?

The answer is social signals, the search engine algorithms as the months go by are incorportaing more and more social information into ranking factors.

Now this does not involve a business getting thousands of likes on Facebook, it is all about the concept of engaging your online social network community and successfully making them share and reccommend your information socially.

One of the main SEO ranking factors now has become social mentions, the day might never come when SEO is completely social yet a large portion of ranking factors are attributed to this.

“If Google can see that your website has established a lot of social proof on all social media platforms from a natural and organic spread of your website information, then it knows that your website is worthy of the prime real estate of the front page of Google.” says John Vlasakakis co-Director at SEO company Maps Gurus.

Following SEO methods of the past 2 years is not going to get you very far, your new back link is your customer, visitor, or website enquiry who will share your website on various platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and even recently Pintrest for website with a lot of images and media have been reaping the rewards of this type of online marketing strategy.

I would like to engage all readers to discuss if they have noticed social signals impacting the search engine rankings. After all it is the best metric that is difficult to manipulate.

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  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:55 am 0Likes

    A lot of truth there, I’m spending more and more time of FB and less on the web site itself, it’s alive and kicking and far reaching, quite exciting really.
    I’d ask you for a quote John but by the look of your short bio I couldn’t afford you and keep my site cost effective for my users. 🙂

  • John Vlasakakis
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:59 am 0Likes

    The weight of social media with Google rankings, and especially facebook is amazing. It’s amazing what a little attention to your social community can do for your rankings.

    Our service is not as pricy as you think, as we deal with a lot of small businesses as well, please feel free to check out our site http://www.googlemapsguru.com.au

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm 0Likes

    Great article.

    Getting a real estate audience to share content from your website on Facebook is not easy for most agents. Most real estate websites have informaiton about their agency, their staff and their listings.Visitors just don’t want to announce to their friends list that they are looking at property.

    Shareable content is normally in the form of a blog and Google’s inclusion of Social data in it’s algorithim is increasing the importance of blog on an agents main domain even more.

    I cant see traditional SEO ever becoming non existant as not all websites attract shares and mentions but Social interactions will have a bigger and bigger part as has traffic data like load speed, CTR and bounce rates to a sites ranking.

    A good read about Social importance to SEO is this section of SEOMoz’s annual survey of leading SEO experts http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors#metrics-7

    The important thing to note is not that you are getting tweet and Facebook Likes and Shares but the authority value of those doing the liking and tweeting is very important.

    The other interesting read if anybody is so inclined is the summary of Algorithim changes to Google which goes into depth on all of the Penguin and Panda updates and more.

    • Glenn Batten
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm 0Likes

      The algorithim changes are here http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change

      • John Vlasakakis
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:40 am 0Likes

        Good timing with this link, yesterday google announced another update to the Google Penguin algorithm coming soon, so fasten your seatbelts!!

        main thing to notice is panda is a page wide and not site wide and is aimed at low quality pages that have little user experience.

        while penguin is just an adjustment, that doesnt reward sites for spammy tactics, including some backlinking activities.

  • Bill
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm 0Likes

    A little off topic this but whilst I agree that an engaging presence will be a big factor for future rankings little has been said regarding how Google might rank mobile designed websites for those searching on mobile devices.

    I don’t mean mobile responsive websites such as was discussed in a previous post but I mean websites designed specifically for mobile. My understanding is that a a responsive design just shrinks a website to fit leaving most sites very hard to read and view without magnifying.

    On the other hand a mobile designed site will present a pleasurable experience for the user with the whole design specifically aimed at mobile screen resolutions.

    Google is pushing this type of site with its initiative at http://www.howtogomo.com/ Which leaves me assuming that they are heading to two sets of search results, those for mobile and those for other devices.

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:47 am 0Likes

    Welcome to B2 John, we look forward to future posts.

    • John Vlasakakis
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:42 am 0Likes

      Thanks Ryan, will post some insights once google finish its new update, which should shake up the rankings again.

  • Peter Daverdson
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:54 am 0Likes

    Another SEO post to bring out controversial comments!

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am 0Likes

    Great post John. It’s interesting to see in this article http://www.seroundtable.com/google-penguin-warning-15577.html what “Matt Cutts, the head of search spam at Google, said “you don’t want the next Penguin update.” He warned that the Google “engineers have been working hard,” on this update.

    He even added the next few updates will be “jarring and jolting” for webmasters and SEOs.came out and said about the pending Penguin update.”

    I think we’ll see some major changes in this next Penguin update now that Google have bought Wildfire for $250 million as I mentioned in last week’s article. http://www.business2.com.au/2012/08/a-major-change-to-the-social-media-landscape-e-ave-wrap-up/

    Now that they have under-the-hood access to Social Signal from the Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc Google’s NEW Social Search algorithm will be made possible faster than they probably first thought after launching Google+.

    For an example of Social Search results I recently saw this article from Eric Proulx from the US where he compared a side-by-side search on “New York” via logged-in and logged-out of his Google+ account. http://next.inman.com/2012/08/its-time-for-you-to-be-on-google/

    I know being logged-in to Google+ wasn’t ever going to be quite the same search results diplayed but it shows an example of the impact Social Search and Social Signals could have.

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