Social Signals have replaced backlinks as social channels and search engines turn to individual behavior to organize and serve up relevant content in more meaningful ways.
Author:Lorde Astor West
What Are Social Signals
Social Signals are the actions we take as individuals as we interact with the people, places, and things that we encounter throughout the web.
Social Signals occur in the form of a like, comment, share, recommendation, +1, retweet, or any other emotional trigger embedded by interactive technologies to measure interest, relevancy, and social engagement.
Taken together, these little interactions all add up to the degree of influence your content has with your immediate audience and those who may be exposed to it who reside outside of your normal circle of influence.
Why are Social Signals Important?
Social Signals help shape our circle of influence through the interactions gained from acceptance and engagement with the content we deliver to our circles.
These behaviors are at the heart of big data. With our every move being tracked, Social Signals are the fuel that drive behavioral marketing tactics enabling smart brands to deliver content with pinpoint precision to individuals whose interests and behaviors match that of the brand’s target profile, thereby significantly shortening the sales process and making conversations more productive.
In the new social economy, Social Signals are as good as currency in that they enable us to cut through the noise and put our brands directly in the path of those who are most interested. They give us the ability to more easily connect with our audience on a more meaningful level from inception, which helps in cultivating longer relationships and directly engaging with those who love our products and services.
Social Signals and Their Roll in Search
Since the beginning of search, “rank” has been the cornerstone by which all search engines have based their organization and display of search results with backlinks at the crux. As the web grew it became exceedingly difficult to correctly display content as enterprising programmers devised ways to buck the system by creating backlink technology that fooled search algorithms into moving spam and junk to the top of lists.
As social media started to grow and individuals became increasingly engaged with content, search engines began to see a solution to the backlinks problem… Social Signals. What better way to measure relevancy of content than by following how people interacted and engaged with it themselves. Social media and search engines became increasingly aware that by implementing a few new features into the mix they could better understand and clean up the web by getting individuals such as you and I into the categorization game.