If you have you ever wondered whether social media affects your search ranking, let me assure you that it does. Matt Cutts of Google has officially confirmed that social signals have joined the league of factors considered for ranking websites. Thus SEO professionals have one more search factor to contend with – social signals.
Exploring Search Engine Optimization
SEO professionals are constantly running the race to identify effective SEO strategies and they do so by watching out for search algorithms. And it does not help that the search algorithms for website ranking are never constant and often change without notice.
However, over the years, it has been established that keyword optimization and link building are two important search algorithms but with the recent boom in social media and sites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook taking over the online world, social media, too, has started to dramatically impact search rankings.
Why Does Social Media Affect Search Rankings?
To be able to answer this question, you should first be aware of what search engines aim to deliver. People use search engines to find what they are looking for and search engines act as a filter to display only high quality content most relevant to the search queries.
Social Media comes into play in SEO because content on social networking sites is made popular by real people who will only re-tweet, like or +1 content which they find relevant. Search engines know this and so social media recommendations like tweets, likes or +1s have SEO value and impact search rankings. And the more such social recommendations your content receives, greater the chances of higher rankings
Let us now take a look at how social media affects your search ranking.
The 5 ways in which Social Media Affects Your Search Ranking
1. Social Media Strengthens Online Presence
Social media strengthens your online presence because it offers an additional gateway to your website to bring in greater traffic to your website. Curious how this occurs? Read on to find out.
You post the link to your content on social networking sites. This encourages people on your social network to click through to your site to read the content, increasing your website traffic. Tremendous website traffic draws the attention of search engines towards your website and your content is accorded higher ranking for the relevant keywords.
2. Social Recommendations Are Associated with Higher Rankings
Social recommendations have a high correlation with high search rankings, as shown by this SearchMetrics analysis. The more likes, re-tweets, and +1s that your content receives, the more likely it is for your website to rank higher.
For people to like, re-tweet and +1 your content, you have to make sure that your content is worthy of being shared. People will never share something that they do not find interesting, so your content should be able to captivate readers and inspire them to share it with others.
3. Search Engines Swear By Link Building
Although social media has drastically changed the rules of SEO, it has not negated the impact of link building. In fact, social media has added another dimension to link building.
When people enjoy your content, it is possible that they may use it as a link within their own website. Thus the original content (on your website) gets a back link. Back links are of great value to SEO. Further when your content is shared on social media, it gets greater exposure and increases chances for more back links, which is obviously great for your rankings.
4. Social Media Helps Build Online Authority
Social media offers a powerful platform to build your authority in your niche. Via social media, people become aware that you are offering consistently high quality content that adds value to them. This reiterates the perception that you are expert on the subject leading to more followers and more shares for your content. Over a period of time, your authority in the subject is firmly established. This leads to higher search rankings because authority of the website is an important search algorithm.
Besides, Google and Bing have recently stated that one important parameter that determines search rankings is the social media user’s authority.
5. The Impact of Google+ on SEO
One of the biggest contributors to the impact of social media on SEO has been the launch of Google’s social media platform –Google+.
Data from Google+ is 100% indexable by Google (no prizes for guessing why) and figures in the search rankings. The Google+1 button is an important social recommendation. The more +1s your content gets, there are greater chances that it will secure a high ranking. This article takes an in-depth look at impact of G+1 on SEO.
It is clear that social signals impact search rankings in a major way. One essential factor that is important to set everything in motion is your active presence on social networking sites.