Social Sharing VS Link Building

One of the most common ways that websites increase their search engine rankings is by having other websites link to their webpage, also known as backlinking. However, after link farms and other artificial methods of increasing backlinks have become ineffective due to recent Google updates, many webmasters have started looking towards social media for search engine optimization. Still, many people in the online marketing community are wondering if social media participation can make up for backlinking while others are suggesting it might eventually make backlinking irrelevant.

According to the same Google update that eliminated the usefulness of link farms, the search engine is now also considering positive social media feedback when ranking websites. In addition to being able tracking “Likes” and reposts, Google’s algorithms are able to determine if social media feedback is positive or negative, even if it is in the form of comments. This means that there are a number of ways for webmasters to increase their website’s search engine ranking through social media activity.

However, even with the number of options open to websites to increase their social media presence, is it worth the time, or would the effort be better spent on building backlinks? The answer is: it depends. The reason that it depends is because both backlinks and social media feedback are completely valid ways of increasing search engine rankings, and Google has stated that both will continue to influence their ranking algorithms. Therefore, webmasters and people focused on search engine optimization should not focus on one or the other necessarily.

However, if a website has to pick either backlinks or social media to focus their time and attention on, it should probably be social media. Even though backlinks appear to carry more search engine ranking weight, they tend to be far more difficult to build, which is one of the main reasons link farms developed in the first place. Growing positive social media feedback is a much easier task, though.

Even accounting for needing to have a higher number of positive social media feedback instances than backlinks, social media still requires far less time and effort. For example, the majority of content management systems for websites have built in feedback and “Like” buttons for a number of popular social networking sites. Additionally, many of these systems have add-ons that automatically post links to social networking sites whenever a web page is updated. On the other hand, backlink building is an ongoing effort that offers little in the way of automation.

Google has firmly stated that backlinking is still an important part of building search engine ranking, but they have acknowledged the increasing impact that social media is having on the Internet and web surfing. Therefore, the best search engine optimization strategies will employ both backlinking and social media activity.

About The Author:
John Zwissler from AddMe.com – AddMe is a resource for free search engine submission and online marketing tools. Try our free search engine submission and subscribe to our bi monthly newsletter.

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