The writing is on the wall. I believe the days of buying your way to the top of organic rankings will soon come to an end. Every SEO, at least those who aren’t in denial, knows that paid links work. Unless of course you get caught by an “SEO guru” over at the NY Times.
But when you look at paid Google +1′s vs Paid links, you’ll quickly see why buying your way to the top of Google’s personalized results won’t be around for long.
First a little background on how we got here…
So what about paid links? The great thing about buying links is you can get them almost anywhere. Even your mom’s cooking blog accidentally tripped and fell onto some domain authority.
Most of us agree that you should go after quality inbound links from authority sources, and that’s a great practice over the long run. But for the sake of this post, I’ll skip the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and stick to reality.
Inbound links from 100′s of small, relevant sites, WILL improve your rankings.
Sure a few links from obscure websites won’t do much, that’s why you get a few thousand links from a few hundred sites. This is where so many of us try to bend the system. It’s called sponsored blog posts, directory submissions, or partnership agreements.
Can’t we just buy Google +1′s like we buy links?
Now consider Google+ and the new personalized results G rolled out this month. Take your mom for example again, except now she has a website AND a Google+ account with all of 14 people with her in their circles. While your dear mothers website might have a little bit of link juice, her social rank isn’t even on the map.
A Google +1 from a nobody won’t do anything, and +1′s from 100 other nobody’s won’t add up to squat.
A paid link from an obscure website won’t do much, but links from 1,000′s of obscure sites will start to add up eventually. This is not the case with Google+ and somebody who might “sell” you some paid +1′s. Social credibility just won’t be that easy to fake.
Buying social authority will never be as easy as buying links…
You can’t fake social swagger like you can fake domain authority. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of Rand Fishkin and everybody on the SEOmoz team, but give me a few months and I can still trick Open Site Explorer and Googlebot into thinking I have a beast of a website.
Here comes a brand new kind of marketing.
We are entering an age where marketing becomes a bit more challenging again, it’s a brave new world now boys and girls. It will be harder to cheat your way to the top, and for those who have the cash social promotions aren’t going to come cheap.
Then again search engine marketing wasn’t supposed to be this easy was it? As much as I hate to admit it, those of us who are in the SEO industry will need to learn forgery a little less, and how to create quality a little more going into 2012 if we want to survive.