6 January 2015
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How Does Social Media Affect Your SEO Rankings?

 How Does Social Media Affect your SEO Rankings?

There has been a lot of hype that Liking a page or tweeting about a page on your website will get your ranked #1 immediately. Well Google’s Matt Cutts recently confirmed that Google (and Bing) are now using social media activities as an integral part of their ranking formulas. Cutts states that it was previously being used only for real-time results for things such as news stories. But now the search engines are using social media indicators for all organic rankings. However with Google recently relying more on Google +1 signals, these social votes now play a very strong role with personalized results on Google. So when users are logged in to Google, they will see much different results in their search results due to the Google +1?s they have acquired.

So can tweeting and Liking a page on your site really get you ranked #1? As with all SEO questions like this, the answer is “it depends”. Check out some of the most recent findings from seomoz.org surveys below to see just how influential social media activity is for SEO rankings.

Social Media’s Influence on Overall Rankings

ranking-algorithm-largeEven though everyone is talking about social media getting your website ranked #1, you can see from the chart that social media factors (social graph metrics) comprise only 6% of the overall ranking formula.

The top ranking factor is still the trust and authority of the domain. That is followed closely by the number of links pointing to a specific page on your site. Then close behind that is the anchor text of the links that point to your pages of your site.

The interesting thing about these results is that although Google preaches that content is king, according to independent SEO experts that were surveyed, keyword-rich content along with keywords in your meta tags only comprises 15% of the ranking formula.

The reality of today is that in-bound link popularity is still the most critical signal Google uses to determine great content. What that means to you in a social media context is that you must make sure to include keywords and links back to your website from within your Facebook wall posts and Twitter tweets. This is the key to improving your organic rankings from social media activities!

We will be sure to keep abreast of how important social media activity is for search engine rankings. All signals point to it becoming much more heavily weighted in the near future.

 

Which Social Media Activities Have the Strongest Affects

 

social-factors-correlation-large

You can see from this survey that Facebook Shares are the most important social media indicator that affects your ranking. This is followed by Twitter tweets that include the URL of the page. Google Buzz links come in a close 3rd place behind Twitter.

Be very careful to note that a Facebook Share is NOT the same thing as a Facebook Like. These buttons have different purposes and have vastly different results for search engine rankings.

If you are going to use a 3rd party social media sharing tool like addthis or sharethis, make sure those tools support the Facebook Share button; not only the Like button.

New to the game is the Google +1 button. It acts just like the Facebook Like button and Matt Cutts has confirmed that it will be used in the Google ranking formula. The important thing to know here is that as the search engines are able to obtain more data from both Facebook and Twitter, their influence on overall rankings will surely increase! You can get more information on Facebook Social Plugins from their website. Information on the Google +_1 button from their site.

Test your Social Media IQ

How much do you think you know about social media, web 2.0 and SMO? We have some simple questions about the 2 main social media tools. You might be surprised just how little you know about how these tools affect your social media marketing efforts and results.

Facebook FAQ: Do you know:
  • If you should create a personal page, group page or company fan page on Facebook? Do you know the difference?
  • The difference between a Facebook Like or Share?
  • If you should apply your company’s branding to that Facebook page?
  • If you should allow Facebook friends to post their own comments to your page?
  • Who will moderate and remove any content that is undesirable?
  • Who will post new content to your Facebook page?
  • How to efficiently acquire the most relevant fans for your company page?
  • How to create effective promotions and sharing incentives?
  • How getting people to ‘Like’ your pages will affect your rankings on Google and Bing?
Twitter FAQ: Do you know:
  • How to apply your company’s branding to your Twitter page?
  • How to efficiently acquire the most followers to your account?
  • How to setup access for who posts tweets to your account?
  • How to automate the posting of tweets from your mobile phone, blog, or news section on your website?
  • How often to post tweets to keep your followers interested and engaged?
  • How to post rich media to and use shortcut URLs?
  • How to turn followers into buyers?

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