Last week I participated in an #seochat. One comment that someone took exception with was the idea of how “authority” is defined. Essentially, this person took exception with the notion that to be seen as an authority, you need to maintain a healthy follower/following ratio. Specifically, they argued they knew plenty of people with equal numbers in both columns and each column in the tens of thousands, and that those individuals were, in fact, seen as authorities.
I’m sure, in isolated cases, this could be true. Take your average celebrity, as an example. They sometimes have close to equal numbers, yet they are still an “authority”. Yup, they can get away with that simply because their reach gives them an edge. They are a household name.
What I found interesting about the discussion last week was someone suggesting to know that we, the engine, were in fact seeing this person as an authority. It’s not like we send out certificates. Still, they have a valid, if limited, point. In the broader picture, though, it got me thinking about some other things folks may not understand fully. And so let’s review some of the common myths around social and SEO.