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Backlinks versus Social Signals

Are Backlinks still relevant or are Social Signals taking over?

Well it’s no surprise that Matt Cutts (Google’s Head or Search Spam) was hit with the big question, “Do these Links still work?” when interviewed by Danny Sullivan at the SMX Advance 2012.


The Question proposed to Matt Cutts was, are Links still relevant or are Social Signals becoming the new BackLink? Matt replied with a great analogy on how large space is and how the largest data source in the world, (The World Wide Web), can only take up a very small amount of space in relation to how much Data is truly out there or yet to be created. Matt then explained that yes Social Signals are very important and there importance is increasing, yet the Link is still very alive and active and it is way too early to exhaust the importance of the “Link”. This was a great interview by Danny Sullivan and worth taking a look at.

I feel there are may different takes you can have on the response from Matt Cutts. I do feel that he is correct, there is so much Data out there and Links have been such an important part of bringing that Data together and Linking related information. It would be hard to imagine that all those “connections to data” or “Links” can just fade away over night. Matt Cutts did say that he can see the relevance of a Social Signal becoming more important than a Link in about 10 years, but for now don’t exhaust the importance of the link.

This question of Links versus Social Signals has been on my mind for some time now. I don’t think that Google or any of the Big 3 Search Engines will announce any time soon that Social Signals are the new form of a Quality Backlink, but from the research and expierenments that I have been perfroming, Social Signals are for real and do hold an extreme amount of relevance in increasing search engine positioning. Social Signals will NOT take you to page 1 Google over night, those days are gone, but with Microdata becoming a huge factor in the new Google Knowledge Graph, maybe having multiple Social Media accounts can increase your Microdata and in turn increase your Website importance to Google…….just a theory, but food for thought.

By: Brandyn Garske

Google, Panda 1.1 Update

Google Panda 1.0-1.1, The Four Letter Word – Link!

Well, where do I start. For now, I’m going to just layout a Time Line of what I am seeing and what impacts I am dealing with. Please feel free to jump in and correct me if i”m wrong. I am only documenting what I am seeing

Google started to stir up the waters on March 23rd 2012 with the release of Panda 3.4, at that point the impact was minimal but it was apparent the Google was beginning the “Web-Spam” Clean up process. Then there was the March-50 Pack release on April 3rd 2012 that explained the changes to the anchor-text scoring. April 19th 2012 brought the release of Panda 3.5. update. The immediate consensus was that the impact was again minimal, but if you were purchasing (Bulk) Links at this point you would start to see your Page Ranking start to freeze and possibly drop a few positions. Then came Penguin.

After a month of buzz about a Google clean up and a Web-Spam update, if officially came. The roll out was nicknamed “Penguin” was officially here. The update impacted 3.1% of the English search queries as well as penalized sites for “keyword stuffing”.

After the Panda “bomb” had dropped and the dust stared to settle, the friendly giant Google rolled out another Panda update, Panda 3.6. The impact from Panda 3.6 was a bit unclear with sites seeing effects from Penguin still. On May 4th, Google then published the facts and details about the April updates, April-52.

On May 16th we were introduced to the “Knowledge Graph“. The Knowledge Graph roll out officially began and will introduce a SERP-integrated display. The Knowledge Graph will help organize and specifically define a search query weeding out the Web-Spam that Google has now officially began to label.

Finally on May 25 2012 we are starting to realize that “Penguin” is an official algorithm update a lot like Panda with the release of Penguin 1.1.

So whats next. For now, keep it White Hat folks. “Old-School” SEO, content is King and Link Exchanges are Gray-Hat but accepted, purchasing Links is an OFFICIAL NO-NO! No more Page 1 Google risers over night. Its time to get down to the basics and clean up your sites folks. Google is looking for Categories and Structure. Get your Page Titles cleaned up, clean up the Keyword stuffing in your descriptions and use supporting keywords. Don’t just focus on one Main Keyword, look for Long-tail and Geo-Targeted keywords. There is always another path to walk down, just need to find it!

Ill be back soon, can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

By: Brandyn Garske