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Is Google Using Social 'Authority"?



12:40 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google have discounted the authority sent by poor links due to the fact that they may have been brought / paid for, will this transfer to the authority gained via social media?

Does this mean that social accounts with little to no activity carry less social media authority?


1:16 am on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

On my Facebook pages, don't just get Likes willy-nilly; to me, especially for photos, help indicate what people actually do Like something. Can give me some quick feedback.

For this, may need reasonable spread of people [and not heaps of bogus folk! - tho bogus ones not bothered about regular Liking of other stuff anyway]
- and with a decent spread, in turn find my newsfeed has some worthwhile content. Those prone to photos of their breakfasts can soon be demoted so I don't see their "news".

I've noted before here along lines of internet always being "social"; here seeing posts as if webmasterworld is not a "social" site.
There's a spectrum. But no one posting here is being utterly anti-social, even if venom for Facebook.

I recently bought Anatomy of Buzz Revisited; indeed well worthwhile.

Martin Ice Web

8:45 am on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

And hence we see the strong movement at Google to roll their own, Google+, and make it successful. They need to get the flavor and the detail of the real social networks that move buzz and communication.

Tedster, with all due respect to your knowledge but I canīt believe that you said this.
You realy believe google is doing google+ for having more singnals for serving better results? ( They did have good results and messed it up on their own ).
They do it to get more inforamtion about the users to serve better ads to the user.
In fact i donīt know why they are doing it, because fb is number one and will stay number one. Cutts said donīt try to mess with a leader in your niche, but they do?

I donīt know where are you located but we in germany do NOT use google+. Why should we. All are in fb ( 99,99 % leadership ), why should the users work on two social system?
To gather ranking information from social media is not working for germany. Poeple click on fb likes but not on g+, because they do not have any benefit from it.


12:27 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

They do it to get more information about the users to serve better ads to the user.

That could well be a side benefit if it ever takes off, but Google is a lot smarter about advertising than that.


3:57 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I donīt know where are you located but we in germany do NOT use google+.

From what I can see, most people do not actually use Google+ even if they set up accounts. That doesn't mean Google doesn't want social users. They do, almost desperately.

Sure, any for-profit company wants and needs to monetize their effort. But first that effort needs to offer real value and bare some fruit. A social network that almost no one uses is "neither social nor a network." And so there is effectively no data to study, and not enough information to guide monetization of any kind.

Before anything can be monetized, that thing itself must actually exist!

And once that thing exists for real then the data can be mined and studied. At that point Google can decide whether and how they can use the information, whether it's for ranking or ad targeting or some other purpose.


4:49 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think with the non-Google social stuff it all boils down to how social activity affects your user metrics (user engagement).

I don't think Google cares how many times people have liked or tweeted your site, or whether you're a 'social authority', I think they care about how engaged visitors are when they come to your site, relative to other similar sites/pages.

User engagement has a lot to do with how much people trust your site and trust is made up of numerous different factors like have I heard of the site before, is it nice/easy to use, do I know anyone who uses it, is it fast, plus a million other things we subconsciously take into account in less than a second.

Activity on social networks influences trust factors. I know who in my group of friends I can trust to recommend something good and I'm likely to give a site more of a chance if they recommended it than perhaps I would have done otherwise (better user engagement with the site because of the trusted recommendation). On the other hand, if someone I don't know well recommends something I may check it out but with less confidence (user engagement then relies more on the site's own merits).

Also, when I visit a site that has 20,000 likes or tweets, I see that as a possible signal that the site is quite major, popular and perhaps it can be trusted, or maybe it should be investigated a bit more as lots of people appear to like it for some reason (marginally better user engagement). If the site has a low number of likes/tweets it can make me more cautious (is it a new site, or do people just not like it much).

Their influence on how engaged I become with a site all depends on all the other signals I subconsciously consider at the same time. Google can't tell which factors I was influenced by most, but it can tell whether my experience was good.

However, with Google+ they can decide whether to include certain social signals into the algo. If certain factors gain some ranking influence and you do all the right things it could potentially be more beneficial to your rankings than the same effort in Facebook. However, if people try to game Google+ (which of course they will if it's proven to influence rankings more significantly than other social networks), we might see another zoo animal to demote sites involved in undesirable activity.

Martin Ice Web

5:57 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

netmeg, I know, but they donīt know the real private things about the users. This is just guessing. This google+ circle thing is kind of a grandious idea, because some poeple might rename their circles after their hobbies...all popele in this circle share this hobby..... Thatīs gold worth in advertising.

tedster, they might need the social media if they the make a turn away from their current state as a search engine. I think google this time has slept like microsoft did not see the ipad coming and with it the turn away from desktop pcs. But instead of trying to copy a big social media company they should try to create something very new.
And I ask again: Why should users join a small social media site when they belong to biggest of the world?
Like a friend who join google+ 4 weeks ago and now he posted:
"Does anybody take notice of this?" Comments: 1( i am here )
To gain relevant data from google+, there have had to be much more interest in the past for google+. Train has left the station, but google is not onboard.
Look at this threat : tweet 13, google+ ZERO!


6:01 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm not arguing that it's a failure (at least by my standards - I have to be reminded to go there at all.) I just don't think it's only (or even mostly) about advertising, at least at this point. A functioning social network would be a windfall for a number of existing and future Google products.

And there are a lot easier (and less expensive) ways to get more advertising bucks, if they were in it for the short con.

Martin Ice Web

6:46 am on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

netmeg, I agree and would like to add, that social networks give you a deep insight of poeples private living/habits and that sorted by an unique identifier. More then ever after they merged their services.
I was astonished to see that my profil ( or google ) knows my mobile phone/phone number and presumably my current location. Put htis allthogether and im am "GLASS" for them.


5:56 pm on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Martin Ice Web has brought something into the debate here that hasn't been given enough consideration when we discuss social media -- AGE.

Indicators in various other threads related to facebook in particular indicate that the bulk of their users are young people. And, young people tend to be more easily influenced than the old school crowd. Needless to say that young people eventually become old school too. How will they look back on us old school people when they realize we sold their rights to privacy for a shilling?

Social media has been around for a long time. Just to repeat it, I consider forums as the oldest form of social media on the internet. Currently my fav social media spot is ted(.)com. I do take lots of comfort in those types of social media because they have depth that helps me expand my perspective on just about any topic that interests me. There are many social media outlets on the internet, YouTube is another relatively good one but at a steep price. But, the term has been whittled down to be synonymous with facebook or twitter and maybe a few newly emerging ones. But if you take a good hard look at those platforms what do they have in common? They have very low account creation barriers which in turn grants you the ability to post just about anything you want. So, they have simply become platforms with very easy access for marketers. The real social media sites across the internet have tighter access control and material is posted in a moderation environment. So on a site such as ted(.)com for example (a true authority of ideas) a marketer cannot have free-range of expression unless they truly have a product or service that has benefit for the "greater good"...and there are instances of that. Most notably are authors that publish extraordinary books that are without any doubt whatsoever of benefit to humankind as a whole. Whereas authors that are trying to capitalize on one of the latest fads will never be given a microphone.

I am not anti-social media, anti-ecommerce (you have my vote if you want to move all commerce to the internet that can be moved there and close B&M outlets to reclaim greenspace), or even anti-marketing (I build websites for businesses to market themselves) but lets face it there are the necessary necessities in life and unnecessary necessities. True social media guides us to knowledge and for everything else there are places like facebook, twitter, etc...playgrounds for marketers. The worst culprit of all is facebook, twitter is a little more palatable. Facebook is the equivalent of the Roman Coliseum. The main event attraction are the individual users, their friends, their families (all are condemned commodities) to be fed to the lions (brands). The spectator stands are filled with the marketers who have been invited by Emperor Nero (Mark Zuckerberg). And the largest majority of those to be fed to the lions are young people being exploited by marketers who do not have a level of maturity to govern themselves and leave a few stones unturned.

Young people, the majority of users of facebook, are not sources of authority (the average teen will tell you differently, we were all teens at one time). Young people study the world around themselves to try to figure out what is important and what is not -- they are looking for sources of authority to guide them. If they cannot figure it out for themselves they will more likely turn to peers for guidance but those peers are equally as well under the influence of consumerism. But if we the "old school" can only continue to make them believe that everything important in the world only exists on "social media" without properly defining social media then we are all guilty of exploiting them.


6:04 pm on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Google have discounted the authority sent by poor links due to the fact that they may have been brought / paid for, will this transfer to the authority gained via social media?

I think it's pretty easy for Google to count links from Facebook as links from an authority site. By the same token it should be relatively easy to discount links from "spammer" profiles that "go Beyond the Pale" (in Penguin terminology) in liking/sharing large numbers of sites. Twitter is more problematic, I've seen SERPs downgrades happen at the same time I have tweeted my own site around the clock and doing so for 14+ days in a row has been concurrent with a short term -100 penalty. Don't care, for obvious reasons, to make a scientific test of this.

Here's another one. Have you ever watched account after account start following you on Twitter and then all of a sudden all those accounts are deleted in one swoop? Twitter is not sleeping on the job, either.

Couldn't this be the recommended practice of following lots of people when you set up your account, in order to get them to follow you, then deleting the follows who haven't followed you after x days? Many, many Twitter how-tos recommend this. Twitter is good as well at banning accounts that go "beyond the pale" with this practice. But I think we are talking something like 200+ follows in a day.


6:25 pm on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You can fake this shit. 40k tweets and 5000 likes for $20 so do it as long as you can.
This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: 41

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