ZydoSEO - 4:24 pm on Sep 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
I am not dismissing social as a traffic source even today. I'm not saying it should be ignored. Nor am I saying that "someday" it might be a reliable signal used to rank organic traffic. I am simply saying that at the moment, the engines have VERY little experience with social data in comparison to their experience with link data.
And as far as the statement above:
Well, duh... you are moderating a group of people who are highly prone to cheating. Trying to say that an SEO group is indicative of a population is like saying most Americans live like the Kardashians. IOW, for 99% of the rest of the niches out there - this may not apply.
I do not only see these fake accounts in SEL's LinkedIn group. But I am a member of many groups on LinkedIn that have nothing to do with online marketing (for example, nursing...) and EVERY one of those groups without fail, get spammed by fake accounts posting discussions, commenting on discussions, posting jobs, etc. promoting AdWords sites and Indeed job search sites.
I did not say or even attempt to imply that an "SEO group is indicative of a population". So I'm not sure what you were reading.
Spammers dropping "Nice post" comments with links all over the web are not indicative of legitimate SEOs.
People building low quality blog networks or link wheels to manufacture backlinks are not indicative of most webmasters on the web.
But the fact still remains that it is THAT small population (and other small populations) of the web that cause many of the problems that Google and other engines have to deal with. And if the engines do NOT have the processes and tools in place to deal with that small population whose out to manipulate their results then the quality of their results will suffer.
On Twitter, every affiliate and web spam site on the planet just about has an account. They are as active if not more active on Twitter than most legitimate brick and mortar businesses.
When Google+ was announced, affiliates including most here who make their living online ran out and created Google+ accounts. Why? Not because they thought G+ was a great social platform. Instead, most did it because they knew that G would probably start using those profiles to influence SERPs and they wanted to manipulate the results in their favor. G+ is a ghost town as a social platform, but most online marketers, affiliates, etc. are creating profiles as they build out sites or for existing sites.
Remember Reddit, Digg, and other bookmarking type sites? They started out as great places to find out about interesting things on the web that you might not otherwise have found. And then those wanting to manipulate SERPs tookover. They built power accounts and networks of friends that they could IM to dig their submissions to get it to the first page.
Social signals are just as manipulative as linking signals.