WebProNews has an article that doesn’t exactly paint a bleak picture of link building, but it doesn’t exactly flatter it either. The last paragraph is super telling:
The point of all of this is, it’s not just about getting links anymore. Links will always be of use, but social interactions may equal them in importance, and in some cases may be of greater use to your visibility, and ultimately getting people to your site, your content, your store, or your shopping cart.
In other words, the back link strategy that Google made such an important part of website ranking may not be the most important metric any more (was it ever?). Rather, the social graph may actually dominate the landscape of Internet marketing for the next decade. I think this will be an exciting decade.
The truth is, the Web has always been social. Forums and article directories – yes, and even website directories as early as 1994 – were social in nature, albeit in a different format. Remember those old web rings? They were social, weren’t they? And guest books – them too, right?
The Web, like life, is by nature a social institution. So it makes sense that social media will grow more useful as people grow more comfortable using it. By extension, the more people come to rely on social media for business, the less they will come to rely on traditional traffic generators like links and search engines.