Sunday, February 23, 2014

Matt's Latest Cut on SEO- Relevant Backlinks and Social Signals

There is a lot of interpretation amid a lot of speculation doing round in SEO circles on two topics on which Matt Cutts has replied. One topic pertains to relevance of social signals from Facebook and Twitter for ranking and the other pertains to relevant backlinks from other web resources pointing to the site.

Social Signals from Facebook and Twitter

First, let us dispel the mistaken notion that signals from these two resources is not relevant in search rankings. What Matts has said is that the number of likes or followers do not count. These are no criteria for gaining the rankings. So, the mad rush to make more followers or gain more likes, by hook or crook, shall not be the focus. What Matts has said is that it treats the pages from these resources (including the profile pages) just like any other webpage and is crawled like any other. It has also been seen from the practical experience that facebook and twitter pages do rank on first page for many businesses. So, what is it that Matts has said. He has simply asked you to post quality content which the users of these platforms find AWESOME. He does not ask you to stop sharing content but, on the contrary, says that this activity is good. However, he does point out that deliberate efforts (which means that content quality will be compromised in some respect and the users might not find it awesome) to gain more likes will not count.
What shall the SEO people do? Answer is simple. Keep on producing good content. It can be informative, hilarious, satirical or any other. It can be text, image, graphic, table, video or slide. Try to make it good and interesting and share it on your platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Let the following and likes grow naturally. Let them share content on their own. If they comment, you are free to engage them in productive conversation. The best part would be to be selective in posting content and do it on a random basis.

Relevant Backlinks

Matts has once again reiterated that relevancy of backlinks to the site count significantly in rankings. He has also admitted that Google has been toying with the idea of doing away with the backlinks as a ranking criteria but found that the SERPs results were worse off. So, their importance is here to stay. The onus on SEO practitioners is to determine which web resources or pages are relevant for developing these links. Highly relevant ones would naturally be a greater ranking factor.



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