Social Media and SEO: 5 Ways They’re Working Together

(Image courtesy of Rosaura Ochoa)

Ask any internet marketer, and they’ll tell you that social media is all the rage.  Websites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for finding old friends anymore.  Now, they are powerful marketing tools that businesses are using to cash in.

Social media is great for driving traffic to your website.  If you’re active on the social media sites, you don’t necessarily need a high search engine ranking to get a ton of traffic.

But, social media websites also play a big role in SEO.  Here’s how:

1.  The search engines are taking cues from social media sites

Both Google and Bing have publicly admitted that social media affects their rankings.  If, for example, you publish an article that gets a lot of “likes” or “re-tweets”, the search engines are going to assume that your article is popular.  And when it comes to the search engines, popularity is a good thing.  The more popular the search engines think something is, the higher they rank it – meaning that your article will be ranked higher than something that hasn’t made a dent on the social media sites

2.  Your social media updates can show up at the top of the search results

Google’s “universal search” doesn’t just show a listing of websites.  Now, it also shows the top results for images, videos, news items, and even social media items.

What does that mean for you?

A popular Tweet of yours may show up on page 1 of the search results – even if your website isn’t quite there yet.   The tweet won’t stay up there permanently, but while it’s listed, you can take advantage of all the perks that come with a page 1 ranking.

3.  Social media builds inbound links

Every time someone re-tweets your link or “likes” it on Facebook, it counts as another inbound link for you.  And since the social media sites are considered to be authorities by the search engines, you’re getting a high-quality inbound link – which is exactly what you need to move up in the rankings.

4.  Social media can get your content into Google News

Google admits that re-tweets and Facebook “likes” play a role in the Google News results.  If a particular story has created a buzz on the social media sites, Google will be far more likely to pick it up – and rank it towards the top.

5.  The people sharing your stuff also plays a role

You know that old saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”?  It’s alive and well in the social media-SEO relationship.

The search engines admit that they look at who is “liking” and re-tweeting your content.  A “like” or a re-tweet from someone that the search engines deem to be an authority will carry far more weight than a “like” or a re-tweet from some random person.  Again, it all goes back to quality over quantity.

This is a guest post by Kirsty LaVier, an editor for Shopping Cart Reviews, the leading shopping cart information website.

One Response to “Social Media and SEO: 5 Ways They’re Working Together”

  1. Mary Ellen Higgins Says:

    Thanks for laying out in an understandable manner how social media and SEO link together. We have been recommending to our clients that they get involved in social media and have us link it to their sites and articles like this help explain why. Great job!