Social Search Spam: Yea, They've Got Filters For That

Sep 13, 2012 • 8:57 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

social spamDespite the fact that Google's Matt Cutts says social really comes no where near links in terms of a ranking factor and probably won't anytime soon, SEOs are prepping for the ramp up of social factors in search to prepare for the future.

Now, with that, comes spam. Currently, you and I see a lot of spam in social - on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is everywhere. But the question is, does or will Google and Bing and other search engines be able to filter and discount out the spam.

Yea, they do, they can - it isn't too hard. It is hard, not impossible, to build social profiles with authority that are pure spam. A WebmasterWorld thread talks about "social authority" as a way to define this.

The concept isn't new, authority in social and even with other factors is a major way of determining of something is real, how real, or outright fake.

As Tedster said in the thread:

I'm betting all my work on something like this being in play for social media - and I think it will be getting tuned up as time goes on. After all, the big social sites already have some safeguards against dummy accounts, or phony "likes" and so on. Google is highly aware that people try to game social media sites, even their own Google+.

We have time - build up your social profiles. Build a social authority the right way and if and when Google and other search engines step that up as a ranking factor - you will benefit.

Please thank +Hillel Fuld and +Branko Rihtman for unknowingly being the icon in this post.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Facebook Search Coming Eventually


Ari Fuld

09/13/2012 01:12 pm

Hillel on the spam circle? HA! talk about irony. There are not many people who fight spam and rant on their blog and social media accounts about behavior that is spammy than Hillel.

Nick Stamoulis

09/13/2012 01:37 pm

I agree that social signals are only going to get more important with time. However, like you say, that means we have time to actually build real social authority and presence. There is no need to rush to cheat the game.

Lyndon NA

09/13/2012 01:44 pm

I don't think people realise that G already "uses" some of this stuff. Just because something isn't a Direct Ranking Factor, or doesn't have a Positive Influence on Organic Ranking does not mean G doesn't note it or pay attention to it. G could use such things from Manual (can they see reputable profiles on trusted sites?) through to Automated (does it look like you Spam social platforms). These things could impact how a decision is made upon review, or even influence whether your site is applicable for the next big "algo" etc.

gregory smith

09/13/2012 03:08 pm

There isn't any need to rush, that's the truth Nick...


09/13/2012 03:56 pm

Just as an example, there are numerous twitter accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers, as well as popular Facebook pages while the sites behind them aren't that good. One the other hand, Seth Godin has one of the strongest presence in twitter and Facebook, at the same time his site suffers from Panda and Penguin - it lost more than 50% of its traffic. Don't know how to explain this case.

josh bachynski

09/13/2012 04:32 pm

Not all verticals will allow marketing of this sort. There are some verticals that are private, embarrassing, sad, non brag worthy, never mind boring or mundane.


09/13/2012 08:07 pm

If Google builds a Facebook friend filter I will use it. Unfriending sounds so unfriendly but I sure could turn down the gain on a few friends.


09/14/2012 05:38 pm

Google is highly aware of folks gaming Social? Ha! That is a joke: there is no way that a search crawler can discern the difference from one purported social presence to another. Now of course we're being asked to believe the fantasy of the giant secret Google eye in the Sky. It sees knows all... As Cher might have said: **SLAP!** Snap out of it!

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