tedster - 4:52 am on Jul 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
Well, any algorithm can be gamed - and any part of any algorithm (which is really what we're talking about here.) However, algorithms can also be protected by constructing appropriate footprints to detect the gaming.
I don't expect social media gaming to be completely bottled up by next year, but neither does Matt, as this video demonstrates. However, I've been using Twitter for a good while, and they're already much more on top of the false accounts than used to be the case. The progress is very clear as they begin to mature.
I'm 100% convinced there is strong value in social media (as one of many ranking signals) and as time goes on I do see that value increasing. And since links can certainly be gamed too, a mix of links plus social plus user data seems to hold promise as I see it.