Do You Have Klout? Do You Need It?
Search engine optimizers and social media advocates debate amongst themselves whether or not Klout is important or meaningful, but I don’t think anyone can deny that social signals are becoming more important and do have an influence on search engine rankings.
What is a Social Signal and Why is it Important?
In a nutshell its a post, a tweet, a recommendation, a comment, or a like (just to name a few) made through social media. The more engaged people are with what you say and the more you listen to them, the stronger your signal becomes. The stronger your signal is, the more influential you become, and the more likely your search engine ranking will improve.
I like to think of it as a way to help us all find people who have the know-how and those that are just pretending to. Its may also be an indicator of customer experience and satisfaction.
We all want more traffic, more business, and more success and everyone is vying for top ranking position on search engine results pages. Google started taking social signals into account a couple of years ago and although its still not completely clear how, it is clear that the importance of social signals is increasing and it does play a role in search engine optimization (SEO).
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, the more people are ‘liking’ your posts, pages, and products and the more positive reviews you are getting are a strong indicator of a resource that provides a quality experience. Google is all about serving up the best and most relevant results to the searcher and what better way to enhance organic results but by including the strength of a social signal as one of the relevancy factors.
What is Klout?
It may be more accurate to say the debate is about the importance of Klout and not social signals, but I’ve heard both. Klout is tool that measures social influence across the web. The higher your score, the higher your influence; it’s a social media scorecard. There are other tools to measure social influence and there’s no doubt that Google and Bing have their own way of measuring influence.
Klout is the most fun to talk about because it’s the most controversial.
One the one hand some claim that you shouldn’t care about your Klout score:
- It doesn’t accurately represent your social media presence
- Very few people have heard of it
- Be wary of employers that take Klout scores into consideration
- It only matters if we believe it does
- If my Klout score is higher than Warren Buffet’s, it’s not measuring influence, it’s measuring social media interaction
One the other hand, some say it’s valid and you should care about your Klout Score (I have to chuckle about the fact that these differing points of view are from the same media source. Two different authors, but it still made me laugh).
Maybe there are some reasons to love Klout:
- It provides some insight into how you’re doing in social media
- You know what it is, it’s not a secret
- Big brands are involved with it
- It’s a place to do innovative research
- You may learn ways to improve your social signal (which will in turn benefit your search engine optimization efforts)
I’m not sure which side of the fence I fall on. Both camps have valid points. I figure it can’t hurt to pay attention to the score just in case it does turn out to be important.
Do you need Klout? I don’t know, but I do know that strong social signals are important and play a role in search engine optimization.
What’s your point of view on Klout? Do you love it or loathe it and why?