There’s more misinformation about the relationship between social media marketing and search results than practically any other area of SEO. With 2.9 billion people on Facebook alone, it is an avenue that you would surely be mad to ignore. Yet the SEO experts maintain that Google does not factor aspects like social shares into its rankings. Let’s put the record straight on social media’s influence on SEO once and for all.
Social signals and SEO
Of course, the experts at Moz, Search Engine Journal and the like know what they are talking about. When they say LinkedIn posts, Facebook shares or retweets are not factored into Google’s famous algorithm, they are telling the truth. However, that is not the same as saying they don’t influence SEO. Every digital marketing and SEO agency will recommend incorporating social media into your campaign because while there is no direct correlation with search results, the indirect influence can be significant.
The power of the masses
Sharing your posts, videos, infographics and other content on social media is one of the best ways to get the widest possible exposure. The great thing is, on social you are not just preaching to the converted. Your friends or followers will share good content with their friends, and while many will scroll by or just view the content on the social channel there will some who visit your site, and others who reshare with their friends. The phrase “go viral” is overblown and overused, but there’s no doubting that social media marketing can have the effect of driving more traffic too your site. And that certainly impacts your SEO. More social shares also extend the lifespan of your content, and increase the odds of people choosing to link to it. In other words, social can boost the ROI from every piece of content.
Social as a search engine
So sharing good content on social boosts exposure and this in turn can have a positive impact on SEO. But perhaps we are still taking too blinkered a view. Whenever we consider SEO, we think Google. But the acronym is SEO, not GO. There are other search engines, and we don’t just mean Bing and Yahoo.
Increasingly, people are starting to use the social media search box to find suppliers of products and services. We won’t go into details here, but perhaps, given those 2.9 billion members, businesses should place at least some importance on ranking in Facebook results as well as considering the indirect impact on more conventional SEO.
Social media boosts SEO
Ultimately, social media is a powerful marketing tool in its own right. But in addition, it can have a dramatic impact on search results, both directly in terms of potential customers searching on the social media platform and indirectly by helping your content to reach more people and boosting signals like organic traffic and authority, which are so important to the Google crawlers.