In a very informative, though short, article, "Social Media Today" writer Daren Bach gives a hint at the exact route that will allow social (read Twitter, Facebook ...) to become the next emperor of the web:
Human link building is now closely tied to indexing social signals for relevant content by Google’s newly polished algorithm. Social trust, authority and engagement have become vitally important boosters for enhanced elevation to a higher Google PageRank.
You might be saying : So ? Google already ranks the sites that get the most clicks on top of its result pages. You're right, approximately right. Because Google's algorithm also takes into account the number of trust-worthy websites displaying links pointing at a given page in order to shoot that page up in the results' ranking.
And here comes the question: What's the ratio ? If Google is now taking into account :
- The number of trustworthy sites linking to a given page
- And Social trust (the number of "like" and re-tweets ?)
But, how big is 2. (social trust) compared to 1. (trustworthy websites + traditional wisdom of (all) the crowd) then ? And you might ask again : Why worry ? The people behind the "like" and the re-tweets are the same people who were sending a page up the Google result ladder with their clicks. The medium's changed but the outcome is still the same.