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Why Social Shares are as Important as Links

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If you’re one of the few site owners still holding out against social media, it’s time to give in. Social media signals are becoming ever more important in the search game, and sites that do not engage are in danger of getting left behind. Even worse, they’re in danger of doing too much work.Link building has long been the foundation of solid rankings, but social media seems to be stirring things up a bit. There is evidence that pages are ranking well without a single link. What’s going on?

There are three things that seem to contribute to rankings without links:

• The quality share - sharing activity seems to be something that the search engines are now giving decent weight to. It makes sense that they do so. In terms of social signals, an internet user sharing an article on Twitter or Facebook is a fairly strong sign. Shares using Google+ are also easily accessible for Google

• Strong social signals - social signals require less effort on the user’s part. The good news is that these are easy to place near your content

• Freshness - another easy one, freshness – there being some new on your site very frequently – is something your SEO agency should be pushing for

A combination of these has been enough for some pages to appear within the top three listings in the search engine results. These rankings tend to be short-term only, but a bonus of ranking well with strong social signals is that links are likely to build, too.

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