Is Social Media important for SEO?
These days after Google`s Penguin algorithm updates is it a case of Social Media holding SEO`s hand or is it more a case of them going hand in hand?
After a little bit of experimenting between myself and SEO expert Kris Harris we have certainly found a big move towards Social Media playing an even bigger part in how Google views and ranks your web pages these days.
Before Google`s Penguin came along
For many years if you wanted to get on to page 1 of Google it was simply a case of using keyword rich pages coupled with as many incoming links as you could get and bingo! You were on Page 1. These days it is not quite so simple and thankfully Google now can easily determine between natural content, natural links (looking for quality over quantity) and content created purely for the search engines.
And this is where Social Media now comes in!
How Google identifies quality content
Yes there is still some benefit from your on-page SEO efforts, (forget the keyword Meta tags though) but Google is now looking further afield for other signs that can back-up the importance, credibility and relevance of your website. These signals are coming from your Social Media efforts such as your profiles, engagement and of course your backlinks. Let me break it down for you…
- Engagement on Social Media – Likes and Shares on Facebook, Retweets on Twitter are all good indicators to Google that the content is new and interesting. Let`s face it who would Like or Share rubbish content that is of no interest to them? Therefore put simply the more engagement you get from your posts on Social Media the more notice Google is going to take of you and your web pages.
- Getting mentioned on Social Media – Every time someone mentions you on Social Media, this could be being tagged on Facebook or Twitter, a + on Google Plus maybe, this indicates to Google and other search engines that you are an authority and that you have successfully engaged some of your folowers.
- Content that is linked – Using Google Plus`s rel=”author” tag allows the search engine giant to track and index all of your linked content. It also attributes that particular content to you, the original source and prevents others from “scraping” content and being rewarded or credited with being the originator of that content.
- Inbound Links – Yes the all-important links back to your web pages. They still play an important role but it is now not all about the quantity of those links but the quality! So forget the old `Black Hat` techniques of buying links and just let your links grow naturally so that they are relevant. Of course where better to get natural links back to your website than on Social Media? With links added to your profiles and posts once these are shared then these will be natural links back to your relevant pages and content.
I hope that all makes sense?
If you are offering content of little value to your followers they simply are not going to Like it or Share it or even Mention you. If this is the case it will be sending a very powerful signal to Google, Yahoo or Bing that your content and the content you are linking to is of very little value. But of course on the other hand if people are finding what you are giving them interesting then equally that powerful signal Google and the others are receiving is a superb indicator that says “hey look at this, this is good stuff! It is relevant and interesting, let`s stick these guys on page 1!”
So can you now see just how important Social Media is becoming for your search engine presence?
Tomorrow I will be posting my 5 favourite Social Media channels that can really help your SEO, so make sure you come back tomorrow.