almighty_monkey - 2:48 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
Whelp. Time to buy that automated twitter bot.
Actually, I think this is something that will only effect certain verticals. It's similar to the effect Places had - some of my clients were completely unaffected, others got a free pass to the first page, further clients I had to pretty much start from scratch with.
If a topic is popular enough on the social networks to justify its inclusion in the SERPS, and your not involved in that conversation, um, you kinda deserve to lose out. It's not like Google reading social networks has come out of nowhere.
What I'm interested in is how Social effects regular SERPS. What is a tweet worth compared to a FB like? What other factors does it monitor? What are they doing to prevent abuse?
That is an interesting wrinkle on the concept of CITATIONS, which is the heart of PageRank, counting how many citations (links) a page of content receives to determine it's importance. Since people share more than they create web pages, Google apparently is counting these shares as citations, although in a different way. Citations are the heart of the algorithm and I don't think enough attention is paid to citations outside of traditional links.
I suspect your dead on here mate.
Thing is, from the earliest newsgroups through to Twitter, social networks have been pretty easily and widely abused ever since the Internet moved out from academic and military institutions and into peoples homes. If it is a ranking factor, whats to stop me creating a 'Tweet farm', similar to a link farm, that tweets and retweets each others content, spins it as it goes, and drops links back to my site? Why can't I just create 30,000 facebook accounts, mix and match their relationships, and have them 'like' my site?
If I'm thinking this, you can be sure some black hatter has already coded the software to automate it.