Is Social Signaling The End Of Expert Content?

May 24, 2011 - 8:47 am 11 by
Filed Under Social Search

Google Bing Social Search & ContentThere is an outstanding thread developing at WebmasterWorld on the topic of social search ranking factors versus content ranking factors. The discussion is fairly thought provoking, which is why forums still rock.

One webmaster is on the verge of complaining that Google and Bing are trumping their social search ranking features and downplaying the importance of quality and authoritative content. He said out of frustration:

As social factors increase in importance, the point of creating original, thought leading, anything OTHER than simple mass content is removed.

I'm seriously stunned here. I hope I've got this wrong, but not only has Google crushed businesses like mine that trade in ideas and content, it has the potential to significantly damage the society at large by LIMITING (unintentionally) the spread of the very information that runs the economic engines of this planet.

Some pretty strong words but is this really Google or Bing's goal? Are social factors going to take over the ranking game or just add some weight here and there?

There is no doubt in my mind that Google and Bing want the most authoritative content to rank the highest but when there are two pages that are close on the same level of expert content, which should they rank higher?

Also, think about social factors and what Google and Bing use to determine what is authoritative. Links, at least originally, were a form of social liking. If someone linked to your content, it meant they liked it and thus it ranked higher. Social liking or +1ing is a form of that.

Do you not think that if you have awesome content that it wouldn't be shared through social channels? Even if it wasn't - people would reference it, link to it, and hopefully it will trace back to that source at the end.

Personally, I am not worried. There are many cases of the original source not ranking higher than a site covering it later - but is that the goal of Google or Bing? The answer to that is the answer to if you should be worried or not.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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