Social Media Networks

Social Media Networks

Search engines have been using links from social media and social bookmarking sites as part of the algorithm used to determine site ranking in search engine result pages for some time now. No NJ SEO specialist would argue about the importance of building generic links to a site as part of an SEO campaign. Recently, the Google Guy, Matt Cutts confirmed that search engines are using other social media data as part of the ranking equation. He mentioned specifically how Twitter and Facebook are used in the calculations. Followers, Likes, embedded links, retweets and even link popularity are some of the social media input that may be used as factors in determining a site’s overall rank in the SERPs. Social signals are quickly emerging to be important ranking factors used by search engines.

Social Reputation

When the search engines consider links they are looking for relevant and quality ones. Having a large number of generated links to your site can actually hurt more than it can help. This is similar to the way the search engines view social activities. It is important to gain references, shares, likes, retweets, or followers from social accounts that have a good reputation. It is very important to be a participant in the social world in order to create a buzz. However, you do not want to engage in black hat methods and just go set up 100 accounts to generate buzz around the Web 2.0. These are just like having useless but numerous links to a site. You will want your business account to have its own good reputation. It is very important to establish yourself as authentic and authoritative. These are things the search engines will be looking at.

Social Shares

Again it is very important to get quality social shares and your participation on social sites is crucial to achieving success. A share on Facebook, retweet on Twitter and a social share on Google+1 are all factors in yielding a favorable site ranking. Search engines consider that the more your content is shared across social media sites, the more authoritative it is. The more followers you have, the more likely your content will be retweeted or otherwise shared online. But it is not simply about getting a retweet. The more high value people who are following you and retweeting your content, the better off you are.

Tweets, +1, and Likes; Which one is Best?

For the serious SEO specialist social media interaction can be viewed as “votes.” Some SEO specialists tried their own SEO experiment to see what types of results they would get. They created 6 sites that had not been indexed by any search engine; all in the same niche market. Each site used only one social media platform and one was saved as a control. After some experimenting, some SEOs discovered some very important information about how social media affects ranking. In this experiment, Google+ business page followers were very beneficial in increasing a page’s rank. Facebook promotions that used “likes” also helped to increase a ranking and even a tweet/retweet trial yielded an increased ranking. The site that didn’t use any social media promotion of any kind dropped in the rankings. And one site which only concentrated on gaining numerous Twitter followers dropped in the ranking as well. Yes, it is possible to purchase Twitter followers. However, these types of negative practices will have a negative impact on your SEO strategy in the same way that buying links will.

So basically a web marketing campaign should use various social media tools in order to succeed. SEO has been changing and will continue to change in the future. SEO best practices will need to be the most effective available and including social media is certainly a best practice.