I usually don't post about SEO anymore, but if I hear all this paid, owned, earned social stuff out there I just feel like I have to defend SEO and especially the value of links a bit. SEO is currently and will be in the near future the online marketing techniques that drives the highest ROI (if done properly). Social engagement or whatever you want to call it is still in the early days and until Facebook, Google Plus and Co. are gamed like below...I just don't see a chance that the simplicity of the "link system" will be taken over by a social graph.
Nowadays it is way easier and especially much cheaper to acquire social likes, shares, tweets from real users than getting a valuable link from an authoritative website! The example below is just one sample of how you can game the social graph. There are plenty of other "tricks", such as contests or third party software products like Tweetthis.com, Buytweets.com, Fiverr.com or Tweetfordownload.com.
Long story short (No...I don't write a 20 page post to pretent thought leadership): We are far far away from having the social graph taking over the SERPs in Google & Co.. Social is an imoportant part of marketing, but it is not a replacement and rather a supplement to SEO. Especially at a time where Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook accounts can be sold, traded and gamed way worse than anyone ever could imagined.
updated: 2/6/2012 19:38