Remember back in high school when being seen with some of the popular kids was enough to make you yourself popular? That in a nutshell is what social rank is. The more people who thought you were popular back in high school, the more people who wanted to be your friends because they knew it would make them popular as well.
How it Works With Websites
Similarly, the more popular your website is, the more people want to get links to it. However, even more importantly than that, the more links other popular sites have to your site, the higher you will rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), giving you a higher “social ranking” as far as the Internet and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is concerned.
Keywords Are Not Enough
The idea is that just because you engage in SEO, i.e. putting appropriate keywords into your writing, such as things like SERP, SEO, Keyword and Social Rank in a page about search engine optimization, doesn’t mean that you are necessarily the best choice for someone searching for a website about SEO. Your social rank is at least as important as far as Google, Bing and other search engines are concerned.
Different Links Matter More or Less
Every link you have out there on the Internet does help to improve your social rank somewhat when it comes to the SERPs. However, just like in high school, some links are more important than others (remember again that being the boyfriend of the head cheerleader meant more than dating the pretty girl from the choir, even though both meant more than being the nerd without a date at all).
Blog and Forum Comments Matter the Least
Bringing it back to our discussion of social rank as far as search engines is concerned, the links that matter the least (precisely because they are the easiest to get) are the ones in forums and blog comments. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue such links. They can still be extremely useful, especially if you leave comments that are useful which make people want to visit your site.
Internal Links are Best and Links On Popular Sites are Better Still
Getting a link on a page from another blog (i.e. being listed in their “recommended links” page) ranks higher and getting a link from a major website (i.e. being listed by Huffington Post for example) matters more still. Now in spite of what you may be thinking, the fact that you need to get links on major sites in order to become a major site yourself doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just takes time and a lot of effort.
Gather a Peer Group Around Yourself and Build From There
Let’s look once more time at our high school analogy. There are two ways to gain higher social rank in high school. You can become friends with the most popular kid in school right away (really hard if not impossible to do) or you can pick some lower hanging fruit – one of the people who may be somewhat popular and may be easier to get to.
Social rank for Google and other search engines works the same way. Don’t waste your time with spammy web sites; however, you can find websites which are “up and coming” and offer to exchange links with them. Doing so will eventually move you into the ranks of the up and coming and then into the ranks of popular sites. Just like in high school, it simply takes time and effort to build yourself up.