kheadley - 10:05 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
@tedster - Thanks its good to be here. Yes and this was shown the other day by Facebook saying they would remove fake likes, I do think that Google is going the way of social as a means of how useful and relevant a site is.
@SevenCubed - I would disagree that forums are a less manipulative platform for self-promotion, obviously not all (especially webmaster world, don't want to start on the wrong foot) but forum posting has been seen as poor quality link building for a long time. I think that social site are a better way a more natural way of sharing a link, and with reference to;
"An account alive with constant frivolous chatter, compared to one who publishes useful stuff infrequently, may be at opposite ends of the spectrum of popularity but I would tend to lend my eye to the latter."
Again I have to disagree, if a user is posting frivolous chatter between him/herself and their peers and one day posts a link to your website, I would see that as a natural link shared between friends. If there was a user posting very little updates albeit useful information, and these updates contained more links to useful sites it would look alot more spammy. I think there is a long way for Google to see what social updates/statuses are high quality content and not.
@Sgt_Kickaxe - I totally agree, Google says that it wants the information that will give most back to the user but there is alot of information that will never be seen as larger websites with more authority and a large social following.
@Zivush - Again I would agree that traffic from referrals carries an SEO value, and interactions with the site including returning visits would aswell.