Many people don’t realize it, but social media has had a very large impact on SEO. Search engines have adapted to adding social media signals to improve their algorithms, and Google specifically uses the information from their Google+ social network to improve search results. If you want to remain on top of the search engines, then you need to know how social media has been able to change SEO.
This is a new change that occurred during the first rounds of the Google Panda and Penguin updates. Social signals refer to what is happening on your social media page. For example, the number of likes and followers that you have can affect your search engine rankings. This is because search engines understand that many people are using social media to find businesses and bloggers, and they want to make it easier for you to find these same things through their website.
If your social media presence is consistently growing and improving, then you should notice a massive change in your search engine rankings.
There are many social networks like Yelp that are made to review businesses. Search engines are also using these signals to improve or decrease your rankings. For example, if your business has a favorable review, then Google will improve your ranking. This is especially true for local searches because the search engines don’t want to give good ranks to bad companies.
If you have a few good reviews from these social networks, then your rank should significantly improve.
Google Enhanced Search
Google has been using their very own social network to help personalize the user experience. Users have the ability to merge Google+ information into their Google searches. This means that the search results will sway towards ranking their friends and people they follow. For example, if someone follows your Google+ account and they search for a topic that you recently wrote about, then your article will easily appear near the top of the results.
You can take advantage of this by getting as many followers as possible and distributing amazing content that people want to read.
If a lot of people are mentioning your brand name on Twitter, then the search engines will take notice. This is a social signal that many people aren’t taking advantage of. The number of people writing your brand name and linking to one of your websites has a direct impact on your search engine rankings.
While this shouldn’t be abused because the search engines might penalize you, this can translate your popularity on Twitter into more visitors from Google, Yahoo and Bing. Many websites noticed a huge jump in traffic when this social signal was added to the algorithms.
Increased Number of Links
Social media is changing SEO by significantly increasing the number of inbound links that you have. While these links usually aren’t as powerful as links from authority websites and certain article directories, they are now being considered when it comes to ranking your website.
This is a big change because these links used to do absolutely nothing for your website. Social networks are known for sharing good content, and you might notice a huge leap in traffic if you have content that is worth sharing.
This is another change that is specific to Google+ and Google, but it has a significant impact on those that use this feature. Google allows you to link to your Google+ account so that any of your links that appear in their search engine display your account’s picture near it.
This might seem like a small addition, but this helps differentiate your link. The top links are no longer automatically being clicked. People are reading the listings and comparing the links to see what websites they should visit. Authors that add their image next to their links have been proven to get more visitors from search engines.
Social media has significantly changed SEO, and you need to understand how to use these changes to your advantage if you want to continue to dominate the search engines. If you improve your social presence while using the other techniques and methods mentioned above, then you should be able to gather many more visitors from the search engines.
Emily Burgess is a SEO enthusiast who writes for UpCity,http://upcity.com/free-tools/local-seo-report-card, and loves to spread the word about new ways to improve your SEO.