Social networking is defined as mapping the relationship between people, group and organizations along with their computers, URLs, and other related information / knowledge entities. The nodes depicted in the network represent people and groups while the links reveal the existing relationships or flows between the groups of web users. SEO consultants use this methodology with their business clients to increase the targeted audience.
To understand social networks and their participation, SEO consultants assesses the type of web users and the type of information they are searching in the network. These measures give them an insight into the various roles and groupings in a network such as the leaders, who form the core of the network and those who are on the periphery. David Krackhardt, a leading researcher in social networks developed the “Kite Network” where two nodes are connected when the netizens in the group regularly talk to each other, or interact in some way. This network effectively shows the distinction between the three most popular individual centrality measures: “Degree Centrality”, “Betweenness Centrality”, and “Closeness Centrality”.
“Degree Centrality” in social network research measures the network activity of a node by using the concept of degrees implying the number of direct connections a node has. In the “Kite Network” the person having the most direct connections in the network is determined as the most active node in the network. This constitutes the “hub” in this network. The general concept is the greater the number of connections it is better for the website but what really matters is where those connections lead to and how they connect to those who are otherwise unconnected! Sometimes in social networking one has a tendency to stay connected only to those who are in the immediate cluster and are already connected to one another.
“Betweenness Centrality” indicates the number of ties between groups of web users. It can be few or many but this depends on the location of the person. If any web user is between two important constituencies he / she plays a “broker” role in the network, which is believed to be a powerful position in the network, but it also suggests that if networking does not develop the failure can be attributed to this single point. Without its proper functioning, the cluster would be cut off from information and knowledge.
In “Closeness Centrality” the pattern of direct and indirect ties allow the SEO consultants to access all the nodes in the network more quickly. As they are close to other web users they have the shortest paths to cover and are in an excellent position to monitor the information flow in the network and also have the best visibility into what is happening in the network.
Nodes that connect their group to others usually end up with high network metrics. They are well-positioned to be innovators, since they have access to ideas and information. They are in a position to combine diverse ideas and knowledge into new products and services.