- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On September 3, 2014
- SEO, Social media
For a while now consultants in the SEO world have been discussing to what extent social media influences a website’s page rank in search engines.
In one experiment documented by Quicksprout, an SEO expert created six different websites in the same niche and monitored how their rankings could be shifted by different social cues. He looked at Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
The most valuable social engagement, it seemed, was the addition of new Google+ followers. One site saw a jump of 14% in ranking by adding 100 new fans on their Google business listing. Another site experienced a double-digit ranking surge from receiving 300 +1’s on Google+.
While Facebook and Twitter activity wasn’t nearly as influential, a combination of 70 shares and 50 likes contributed to a 6.9% gain in ranking and 50 tweets accounted for a 2.8% ranking bump.
Social Media for SEO seems to work
Social media for SEO does appear to work.
We may not know unequivocally that search engines correlate social cues into higher search rankings but all evidence points to a high likelihood of this now being the case.
And why not?
The whole idea of page rankings is to find out which content is the most useful for users, so it makes sense that search engines would look at social engagement as a barometer for popularity.
Increased visibility and traffic either way
Even if search engines were not explicitly monitoring social shares, as high quality content travels further and further across social media platforms, the increased notoriety brings about two SEO side effects.
Increased traffic to your domain boosts your popularity index
As users click on links on social media platforms they are redirected to the content publisher’s website. The search engines in turn recognize this increase in visitors as a sign that the domain is gaining in popularity, therefore improving the domain’s page rank.
High quality content attracts links
The more users read your content, the more likely it is that other website owners will like the content and link to your page. This phenomenon makes social media sharing worthwhile simply as a tool for building back links, which are invaluable for SEO. New content that is introduced via social media is indexed faster.
Depending on your current page rank, fresh content uploaded to your domain won’t necessarily be quickly recognized and indexed by Google. However, if the same content gains traction across one or more social media platforms it is likely to be indexed much sooner.
Furthermore, should your content be tweeted or shared by a high-traffic authority site the indexing process will take place almost immediately.
What this means to the small business owner
Some of these ideas might sound a bit like techno mumbo jumbo to you, if so, all you need to take away is that publishing quality content to your website and sharing the links via social media will very likely make an impact on your overall SEO efforts.
For more information on the value of SEO for small businesses, refer to “SEO for Small Businesses – the time is now.” For other Internet marketing ideas download our ebook below.