Do Social Media website links have the same weighting in Search Engines like Google?
Early indications are suggesting that the answer to that question is “No.” Although links gained from websites that we would class as “social” are still valid and hold relevance, they are not seen to hold the same weighting as good quality one way links from respected websites.
Although it’s common to class all “social” websites in the same bucket. It must be said that the Search Engines do not yet differentiate too much. They are more concerned about how useful the link is and apply the weighting on that basis. The relative ease of receiving links from the Social website may be the main cause of search engines like Google starting to weight these links in a different way.
Relevance can be seen to follow this order:
- High PR One-way links. (Contextual and Hyperlinks)
- Reciprocal links
- Social Bookmarks
- Internal Links within your own website
Here is Matt Cutts from Google talking about Google’s proposed changes to a change in the Google algorithm that will likely effect the weighting of Social Media Links.
Does this mean that hotels should not concentrate on social links / bookmarks within their Internet Marketing? Far from it, it’s important for a hotel to have a strong Social Media Strategy in place.
The effects of a good Social Media strategy go far beyond simply helping you SEO and rankings. Social Media Optimization (SEO) opens up so many more channels for getting your message out and interacting with prospective clients. Although Search Engines are still the main source of information for many; Social Media websites such as Twitter are becoming 1st port of call for many information requests.
It’s important to expose your hotel and your brand to such channels proactively. It helps that this is a very cost effective channel as well. It’s important to remember, this is not just another sales channel, you are dealing with people in a different and more “social” environment that do not like to be sold to.
The two golden rules of interaction through such channels are:
1. Always remember that you are dealing directly with people
2. Give your messaging utility