Over the last decade, digital marketers have argued about the impact of social signals on a website’s organic performance in search engines. Google has claimed that social signals are not ranking factors but has always emphasized the importance of producing good quality ‘sharable’ content.
As it’s unlikely we’ll get any straight answers from Google here are some reasons to combine social media with your SEO strategy.
- Social Media Links May Contribute to Search Rankings
While search engines claim that social media signals such as the number of Likes or Followers do not influence rankings, the links from your Facebook or Twitter account may have some effect, as most online marketing experts agree that ‘no-follow’ links are still considered by search engines, including Google.
Social media pages are essentially treated like individual websites. Google and other search engines index these pages and they appear in search results. If the post is public, and the search engine can crawl it, the page should be treated the same as a web page.
The bottom line is that marketing experts believe that links from social media pages are still valued as backlinks.
- Social Media Sharing Can Lead to External Backlinks
Receiving a lot of likes on a Facebook Ad or post may not increase the search rankings for the web page that the post links to. However, receiving a lot of likes can increase the visibility of your content. The increased visibility may lead to external backlinks on other blogs and websites.
While the social activity does not influence your rankings, it may result in additional backlinks from other content creators and businesses within your industry. These links do contribute to your overall rankings on Google and other search engines.
- Your Social Media Account Appears in Search Results
Along with links on social media platforms, the individual accounts also appear in search results. Your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account all get indexed and ranked.
You can test this out by searching for any popular brand. Below their official websites, the following search results will typically include their social media accounts. Google also displays the Google Plus profile in the right sidebar of search engine result pages (SERPs).
Providing links to social media accounts in search results gives users a faster way to learn about a company. Search users can quickly find the social media profiles of any brand, allowing them to view their posts and comments from other users.
- Social Media Networks Have Complex Search Features
While social media links from posts, comments, and profiles appear in Google search results, these social media platforms also have their own detailed search system. Users often search for brands, products, and services from within the social media platform.
For example, a Facebook user may perform a search on Facebook for specific services in his or her area. Along with search results in Google or Bing, businesses should be concerned with their rankings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Online marketers need to include social media searches in their overall SEO strategy. As with any type of online content, you need to optimize social media posts to receive higher rankings.
Last Thoughts on Using Social Media to Impact Your SEO
Social media is now an integral part of SEO. Users now have additional ways to find content and search for businesses, thanks to the search features provides on the various social media platforms.
Businesses now have access to millions of potential customers. As the way that people communicate and use the internet continues to change, SEO and online marketing strategies continue to adapt.
Your links, posts, and account profiles are all indexed and may affect your search rankings on Google and major search engines. Social media influence and the number of followers that you have may not impact these rankings. However, these social signals do influence your ranking within each social media platform.
If you’re looking for help with your SEO Strategy or have any questions regarding the topics above, speak to a consultant at Phoenix Media here.