4 Ways Social Media Impacts SEO

Google is placing an increasing focus on social media and search engine optimization.  In fact, social media helps increase your search engine rankings, and guess who Google is giving preference to?  You shouldn’t have to think too hard that while having a strong presence on all social media is becoming important, developing a Google+ presence is particularly significant.  But, the Google+ conversation is a topic better left for another time, and for now, it’s most beneficial for you to learn how social media in general can impact search engine rankings:

  • Generation of back links.  While back links are decreasing somewhat in terms of their overall SEO value, they remain one of the most important factors in ranking your website.  With the additional reach you have available through social media, you have much more opportunity to get your message out to people who are happy to link to it.
  • Quality followers.  The number of followers you have at various social media sites does signal to Google you may be an authority in your niche.  However, numbers don’t mean everything.  There are many services out there allowing you to simply purchase additional followers, but their quality is questionable.  Often times, those followers provide no additional value to your social media profile.  However, if you have dedicated followers who share your posts, Google loves that.  The rule to keep in mind is that anything involving genuine hard work is appreciated by Google – don’t try to game the system by purchasing followers.
  • Social media pages rank well on their own.  If you are having a hard time ranking your site for certain keywords, you might instead try ranking your social media page first.  Google likes all the major social media sites, and it gives good treatment to them in the rankings.  Since they already carry this authority that your site may not have, you can develop a presence in the SERPs faster.  Then, you simply develop an irresistible offer these visitors have to check out on your site.
  • Facebook odds and ends.  While it’s not yet totally clear how social media affects SEO in all facets, it is clear content shared via Facebook, especially content share through annotated social search, receives preferential treatment from Google.  What Google is really thinking is that this is “social proof” that something you are promoting is of value to other people – just like in the real world when you hear many other people like a certain product or service and naturally believe it is of high quality.

There you have it – four concrete ways in which social media can affect SEO.  Social will continue to affect SEO in the future, but exactly how isn’t clear.  What do you think the future holds for social media and SEO?