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Google is pressing extremely hard for people to stop promoting brands and start promoting themselves
you'll be missing out on quite a few side benefits: pictures of your face in the SERPs
Is the time in which I hold excellent rankings running out just because I refuse to take my hobby site social?
Without being too specific what type of hobby site is it?
I do not think that Google just gives you the fancy little photo in the results without some serious investigation as very few websites are actually getting this little extra at the moment.
About demographics - I'd say a majority of my visitors could not care less about technology and most do not have social profiles they use regularly.
Hopefully Google will continue to think so too.
My guess is that social sites like Facebook will become increasingly important to how Google rank entries in the SERPS.
Google has no right to be telling people what to do with their sites. I'll never put any social buttons on my sites, or try to promote myself in Google plus or any other social network, regardless of what they say. It's none of their business.
Does it make sense to be "social" for your business?
Here's what they had to say: "Google? Why Google? You can find everything by just searching Facebook. I don't want to leave Facebook."
Since young people are so exposed to facebook perhaps the days of having adults who find it alien territory are numbered themselves if only by age. Kids born today will grow up seeing facebook and twitter from as young as they can remember.