August 30th, 2012

short url: http://beeseen.com/s/1y

Facebook Likes are the New SEO Links

Links are such as huge part of search engines and the Internet that it is hard to imagine a time when they were not the main component of the Internet. From the great directories of yesteryear like Yahoo Directory to the king of search engines Google, links have been the main currency of the digital world.

Google’s first algorithm or formula to measure popularity of a website and ultimately it’s ranking position in the search engine revolved around counting the number of links to a website.  This popularity score of links held as one of the standards of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for almost a decade. Wise to the importance of obtaining links to raise their websites standing in the search engines, webmasters sought to increase the number of links to their website, often by any means necessary.  With links being such a vital part of search engines and Google’s dominance as a whole, it is hard to imagine anything in the online world that could one day surpass the importance of links.

With the rise of social media darling Facebook and its Like button, “likes” opposed to links are becoming the dominant way to indicate a websites popularity and importance. Unlike links, which are often created by more web savvy users such as webmasters and search marketers, anyone online can participate in liking a site.  Likes are a stronger indicator, compared to links, for what the online community is truly interest in.

The popularity of Facebook likes can’t be ignored as it is a strong indicator of what people consider popular.  In fact, Likes can help improve a websites rankings in both Facebook and Google searches.

If people like a website on Facebook, their likely to share their enthusiasm for that website in other areas of the web, therefore making it rank higher in the search engines.  Also Google itself admits that in the recent years the search engine ranking algorithm uses popularity as a ranking criteria and that social media is one of the major areas that impact popularity.   This is ironic given the fact that how Google gained its start and competitive advantage over Yahoo by counting links to a website as a way to gauge popularity and ultimately ranking position.   Now social media such as Facebook is a growingly important measure of popularity.

Additionally, Facebook likes are more visible and has a greater influence on people than links. When people see that a website has a large amount of Facebook likes, they tend to spend more time on the website just to see why it is so popular.

While links and good content are still the foundations for quality websites, anyone doing business on the internet must consider social media tools including Facebook likes as a major part of their online marketing efforts. While Facebook likes may not directly lead to sales, it does help with brand awareness as well as proven to boost your search engine rankings, therefore indirectly greatly impacting sales.  Likes are truly quickly becoming the new links for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

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