Search and Social Changes Could Make Your Reputation Vital for SEO

However you measure it, either by page rank, shares, likes, followers or retweets, your influence in the online world matters. As a business owner, it can mean the difference between gaining your clients trust and losing it. As the line between social media and search becomes narrower, and the role of content creation becomes greater, being a though-leading, content-publishing, power-tweeting mastermind is suddenly an important part of your job. Your work no longer speaks for itself, you have to take it one step further and contribute something more to your industry.

With this in mind, I’d like to touch upon the steps you need to take now to ensure your voice is heard amongst all the noise. It could soon become a vital part of SEO to have an influential thought-leader at the helm of your company.

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Back in the day, how high your website ranked in search results was dependent on your ability to manipulate and influence the search engines. Keyword stuffing, and buying links through link farms were all common black hat practice. The big players in search soon got wise to these techniques and sought to make search more relevant and valuable. It’s important to remember the search giant’s motivations for making search better is to retain customers, and to profit from ad targeting.

Social media now plays an important role in directing traffic to your website and in projecting an image in influence and standing. This could all soon change as Google makes way for integrating Author Rank into search, and as Twitter mulls over alternatives to the Twitter follower count.

Author rank is a query-independent factor which helps determine what shows up in search results. The query dependent part would be the content, which is matched up to queries using keywords. While the query independent part is based on the authority of the content; and this would be determined by the number and quality of links to the content.

One of the best ways to publicise your content and increase inbound links is to share your content on social media sites like Twitter. Until now, the biggest factor in determining how powerful a person is on Twitter has been their follower count. However, as Status People demonstrated with their app, it isn’t hard to fudge the numbers. So Twitter is now mulling over the different ways they could determine how popular you are. One of them would be to look at your interaction rates, and at

When Google decides to implement this change, you’ll see a lot more Google+ profiles showing up in your SERPs. So it makes sense to get your Google+ profile established and linked to any content you publish, so you’re pro-active rather than reactive.

Also, Twitter is thinking about ways to more accurately measure influence, one method would be to show the number of retweets you get, so now would be the time to start building relationships with your followers, rather than focusing on your follower count.

What do you think of these changes? How will they effect your business?