In the past, it has been unclear whether SEO and social media go hand-in-hand. On the one hand, Google has stated that social media pages are indexed just like other web pages, and therefore social links count as links.
On the other hand, they have also stated that social metrics do NOT constitute direct ranking factors. Microsoft has said that they too consider the authority of social media profiles and mentions across many social platforms in their search engine, Bing.
Looking at SEO and Social Media
Though we cannot determine whether social media metrics have a direct impact on search engine rankings, we can look at the potential of social media influence on search engine rankings instead. We should think about the benefits of utilising social media to help boost ranking signals that we know search engines do care about. What’s more, we should consider the impact of social media on SERPs.
SEO has evolved beyond keywords and links. Good SEO acts as a core function to any holistic, integrated digital marketing campaign. Here are a few SEO metric-specific boosters that social media can offer.
Link earning can gain multiple links from one piece of content. It’s like link building in overdrive, but unless your website has naturally high traffic, your link earning potential is significantly reduced. This is where social media comes in.
The great thing about social media these days is that almost everyone you know will have a profile, most likely with hundreds of connections. This means you have a platform that can not only instantly promote content to hundreds of people, but the more people engage with your content, the more people outside of your direct network see it.
Going viral can be great but isn’t as necessary as quality engagement. If you do things right, you could find yourself with other content creators citing your content in their articles. As a result, you content has earned links, which has a direct impact on search rankings.
Brand Authority and CTR
Social media can be utilised to build brand authority. Though people fear false information on social media, you can still benefit from a well-planned, high-quality social media campaign to develop your brand. When a user searches for a product, they may search directly for your brand or words associated with your brand. Failing that, if your name is one result that they know in the search results, it can increase your click-through rates from search.
Social Media in Search Results
You can find social media profiles in search results, along with Twitter’s provision for Google to Access their real-time tweets. In turn, your social media presence does affect your SERP presence. Ever been put off by a company or person’s lack of social presence? These days, followers, likes and shares can have a huge impact on authority. The fact that social media results appear in branded searches shouldn’t be underestimated.
Will Social Metrics ever be a Direct Ranking Factor?
From what we can see, there are some large issues associated with search engines using social metrics as a direct ranking factor. These include limited access for robots to crawl the platforms to understand social authority. The many fake profiles and “bought likes” will also affect how rankings work.
In short, there is currently too much provision for manipulation of these metrics for search engines to rely on them. Who knows whether this will change in the future. Considering that Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies in the world, both fighting for our attention, it is unlikely that we will see them working together any time soon.
Social Media has its own benefits
Whether or not Google or Bing consider social metrics as direct ranking factors is moot. Social media and SEO should be working together, sharing content or making the most of engagement metrics as data for future content creation. Businesses can benefit from revenue generated directly from social media, regardless of its influence on search rankings. Social media campaigns should be focused more on generating their own success. SEO should come as a secondary consideration.
Talk to Search and More
Whether you want to give your SEO that much-needed boost or you want to ensure your social media strategy is constantly thriving, Search and More are here to help. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help your business flourish online.