conroy - 10:17 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
If what any site offers is of value, then that value will naturally be reflected in social signals of some kind.
No... If I put up the most helpful, informational, authoritative site on a topic today it will have no social signals, yet still be the best. A lot of the outburst about panda is google shifting from apparently trying to rank sites based on the quality of the site itself, to external factors such as "social signals" "user engagement quality metrics" and the like.
If a website offers excellence, then helping visitors to remember the site, long term, is building a brand.
Ok, but there are a huge number of sites on a wide range of topics that people have no interest in remembering or returning to. The site can still be extremely high quality and relevant for search phrases.