anallawalla - 12:48 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
Social will become less and less of a factor. Yeah, I'm going against the grain here. The honest truth here is that social does not convert to sales.
It's been well known that Bing and Google both take note of social signals. So, if the social channels are talking heavily about Brand XYZ and nobody is buying it through those channels, that chatter contributes to the ranking algos.
Since social channels and blogs are the main ways consumers can leave their thoughts for search engines to evaluate, they represent the true popularity of brands in a way that is harder to game.
So it boils down to taking SEO back to its marketing roots. Provide "value" by any means - the offering, service, price, etc. Some of the resultant word-of-mouth buzz will spill into social networks and be measurable. Citations will be more important. Fake buzz will get harder.