chicagohh - 10:23 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
Social endorsements are laughably easy to fake. If they are done *right*, it's time consuming to figure them out by hand. It must be torture for a bot. Friends, likes, tweets, followers, endorsements, profiles... fake, fake, fake. I am sure Google uses social patterns to help define quality, but I can't imagine they are taking it too seriously.
Here is this years link farm and log file spam rolled into one tasty treat:
> add real links to a good article
> add a few fake comments on a new YT video
> link the video out to the target article
> give the article 40 or so real/fake FB likes
> seed in some primer comments
> link to the author's Twitter page
> which has 900 followers and only following 25
> Tweet a few times about the new video
The "real" site can be one part of the chain or even just a linked from the article.