Social Media

Social Media

There is no doubt that a strong social media strategy is important to a successful SEO campaign. We have all witnessed the rapid growth and popularity of various social media platforms; and we have seen them be used effectively by professionals, teenagers, celebrities, politicians and grandmas! Twitter has experienced exponential growth, Facebook has millions of users. Every minute there are more than 1500 blog posts published, 72 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube, 100,000 tweets are sent and more than 700,000 status updates are completed on Facebook.

The Web 2.0 offers a multitude of social platforms through which people can connect on many levels, from blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates, videos, social bookmarking communities and plenty of other platforms. But the question on the mind of anyone remotely familiar with search engine optimization is: Does Google really care? The answer to this question is especially important to businesses since SEO campaigns are about driving traffic to a site and many of the strategies incorporate the use of various forms of social media. When you build a social media community using Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn Google gets the right kinds of signals. Social media strategies are beneficial when used in conjunction with a business site which contains high quality content. Google seems to be paying a lot more attention to social sites and it is imperative that we learn how to use them effectively.

Can I Optimize Social Media Content?

Actually, Google knows very well that the social world exists. They added real-time results to the SERPs quite some time back. Basically, if you tweet about your latest blog post or about a brand new product being released and someone puts in a query looking for it – they will get it in the organic search results. Google includes Facebook fan pages in their real-time searches and they also index Twitter updates. This means that Twitter and Facebook updates are important parts of a social media strategy and can be optimized much like content is optimized.  And even if the backlinks you get from many of these sources are no follow links, you can still generate much referral traffic and even no follow links can help improve your rankings!

Does Google Care about Social Media?

With some of the latest changes in Google’s algorithm many were very nervous. However, the changes were meant to penalize only low quality sites. The intent was to make it more difficult for SEO spammers and others to trick Google into ranking their pages high. What does this have to do with social media? In many ways it put the emphasis back where it belongs; on content created for humans and not just for robots and it put an increased emphasis on including social media in a solid web marketing strategy. Social media can be used to generate relevant, generic links which are still highly valued by Google’s search algorithm. The importance then is not on just developing a web presence, but in creating a complete, social presence in which a business can attract, connect and interact with clientele by using the various forms of social media. So while we cannot say that Google directly uses social media in the algorithm, it can certainly have a major influence on where Google ranks a site or page. An SEO specialist will carefully build a social media strategy which incorporates link building strategies that will direct traffic back to a site that has been fully optimized using SEO best strategies.

The key is to use social media strategies along with web design to develop a quality website which has high quality, relevant content which is connected to various social media platforms. The intent of SEO is to drive traffic to the site by using social media platforms to connect with and engage their audience. This is what Google is looking for.