Social Media and SEO
Written by Kendall
January 14th, 2011

While social media marketing may be relatively new in the internet marketing world, it is starting to make a rapid impact on other areas of online marketing, including SEO rankings. While this has been speculated for quite some time, recently both Bing and Google have acknowledged that they are considering social factors into their algorithms for the SERPS.

Users have been reporting this for months now, and I began to actually notice it back in the summer of 2010 on my own projects, and the results have only grown. Taking a site that I had, I went for the typical SEO methods for gaining higher rankings. I built up backlinks, provided lots of link bait, and I actually ended up with higher quality, and a larger quantity of links than my competition. I also tweaked my site for other factors considered important for SEO, and I was still being outranked by my competitor. The only difference that could be found at all was the number of Facebook fans that our respective sites had. While both of us had a large number, the competitions number was 5 times what mine was. I analyzed everything possible, and this was the only factor I could find that he was actually better than me at.

While this seems to most SEOs like one of the smaller ranking factors, it actually makes a lot of logical sense in this day and age. Think of it this way, if you have 2 sites that you visit and both seem similar, and one has 500 fans, and the other one has 50,000, which one are you going to consider to be the more authoritative site? The answer is rather obvious. Go beyond that to Twitter, say you have 2 similar articles from 2 different sites being tweeted out, but 1 of the articles gets tweeted 1,000 times vs the other getting tweeted 10 times. Which site is more important in your eyes?

At the end of the day, even if there WERE no SEO benefits to your business by venturing into Social Media, the fact remains, there are over 500 million people on Facebook, another 200 Million on Twitter and another estimated 300 Million accounts on YouTube. If your business isn’t in front of all of these eyes already, you should be developing a strategy to take advantage of this mass audience.

 

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