Because everyone is now plugged into the Internet, the way people communicate with each other is faster than ever.
Texting is immediate. Using a social signal to indicate preference is quicker than word of mouth. This type of instant approval has had a profound impact on online marketing. It has killed backlink marketing and put email marketing on life support.
Today’s Internet users – especially younger users – process shorter burst of information more quickly and tend to have much shorter attention spans. As technology improves and speeds get even faster, this trend will only continue in the future.
While backlinks are still helpful in building your sites rankings – especially when they come from authoritative or expert sites – they are aren’t nearly as important as they once were. A decade ago, the number of backlinks a site had was the primary measure of its relevance to Google search engines.
But unethical web users effectively ruined this for everybody by creating commercial and black-hat SEO methods that artificially increased the number of backlinks a particular site had. Google’s Panda and Penguin updates to its search engine algorithm at the beginning of this decade were designed to counteract these inorganic SEO techniques.
Social Approval Signals
After backlinks essentially became corrupted, Google’s search engine development team turned to social approval signals as a more natural, organic way of measuring a web page’s popularity.
While there are still plenty of black hat methods people use to artificially inflate the amount of social signals a site receives – such as creating fake Facebook pages or purchasing “Likes” or “+1s” on Fiverr.com – Google’s search engine is better equipped to detect bot-produced Tweets and other phony social media recommendations.
It also gives more weight to social signals from those social media users who are the most active and who have the largest social networks.
A website’s page ranking now depends on its ability to get visitors to “vote” for the site by promoting it on their social media pages or to their social media contacts. As a result, it’s critical that web page owners make it as easy as possible for page visitors to share pages or give social approval signals.
You should always include buttons on your pages that allow visitors to instantly link them to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + accounts, as well as to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
If you use WordPress or another popular page-creation site, you can use free drag-and-drop plug-ins to include these buttons on your website. Make sure you display them prominently near the top of the page so that visitors can click on them faster and more easily because not all visitors will scroll all the way to the bottom of your web page.
Recognizing how improvements to internet access have increased the importance of social media, Google is taking aim at Facebook and Twitter and is positioning Google Plus to be the premier social media site in the years to come.
Google+ has more applications to businesses as well as to individuals than most other social media platforms. It’s “Circles” method of grouping contacts lends itself easily to marketing toward specific groups of customers. And Google’s purchase of YouTube, the world’s most popular video sharing site, makes the company the web’s top provider of video, the fastest-growing content delivery format in the world.
While Facebook and Twitter continue to be important, your social media marketing programs in the coming years need to include Google+ because it is poised to be the most important social media site in the future.
Google has slowly and carefully rolled out its newest features and has yet to devote its full considerable resources to properly marketing the service. But Google+ has all the tools it needs to become the premier social media site on the internet.