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Till a few years ago,Links formed the core of Internet . Most people spent their browsing time, clicking from link to link, either looking for a particular information or just casual browsing. Links were also the basic way for all search engine operations. Websites increased the number of links on their pages, to raise their rank in search engine results. Infact, the “Page Rank” algorithm said that it was this innovation( web of links) that led to Google’s success.

But, today “links” no more form the essence of internet. More and more people are finding their information through their friends’ “likes” in social media networks. ComScore reported that a person spends an average of six to seven hours clicking on facebook. Also, according to a report by Mckinsey (july, 2011), social network users have increased three-fold since 2008. That means people like “Like”… more than links, now.

Since the trends are changing, websites now have an ever-increasing number on “Like” buttons, which allows the users to share links with others via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon and many more. For instance, Comedy Central’s website receives more than 25% of its traffic from facebook. Also, users can read stories on Washington Post or New York Times, which others have recommended or recently read.

Similarly, Bing was followed by Google for integrating results from Google+ into other search results. For instance Bing uses Facebook data i.e if users search for a restaurant, they might now see their search-related posts or photos from other users in their circles.

Since, search engine is evolving , webmasters need to do more than just optimizing their websites, to rank well in search results. Personalized connections with the users, is the need of hour. While, users have the oppurtunity to interact directly via posting on social networks or integrating contents, companies like the music streaming service Spotify are building their entire business on “social media interaction” plan. It was noted that, those who integrated their Spotify accounts with facebook were 3 times more likely to buy a paid subscription. In turn, Spotify started integrating with all its facebook users. So, its evident that for a strong online ranking, companies need to do more than just mere search engine optimization.

With new innovation and developments, many companies know that just a list of links is not sufficient in today’s battle for a strong presence on the internet. The “interactive plan” is the latest way to help users find better, pertinent and quick results. Links may have been the foundation but “likes” is the future of internet.

About The Author

Dave Thompson works at AgencyPlatform.com, a White Label Software + Services provider for online marketing agencies.

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