Can social media effect SEO?

The short answer is yes, but not how you’d think.

Things are complicated enough when it comes to the SEO impact of normal websites. We know that Google is looking at over 200 factors when it chooses how to rank a site, but social media is different. Google doesn’t treat social media posts like normal pages, or social signals such as “likes” or “follows” in the same way it treats links. But success on social media id tied to success in SEO and here’s why.

Google does index (some) tweets

As social media has become more important, search engines have begun to take it more seriously. Google does index some tweets, but not many of them. Hundreds of millions of tweets are posted a day, if you add on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn you have a huge amount of content being created. So an individual tweet, even if it has a link to your website, is unlikely to have much impact on it’s own.

Social signals (indirectly) matter

Google have said the (probably) don’t measure social signals directly. That means they don’t rank your website based on how many likes your last post on Facebook got. But even if Google doesn’t track them directly, this doesn’t mean they don’t have an impact. If search engines only index a tiny fraction of social media posts to index, how to they choose which ones to index? Most likely, they will focus on the most popular accounts. Which of course will be defined as being the accounts with the most social signals.

Social media platforms have their own algorithms that pick out what to show you based on what’s popular. How does it decide what’s popular? Social signals. If something gains traction on social media, a search engine is likely to pick it up eventually. So getting a million likes on your cute kitten photo will probably help the SEO of your pet shop website, even if Google won’t officially acknowledge it.

Content is still king

Ultimately, Google is trying to find the best, most relevant content. If you create something that people want, and it gets noticed on social media, then this can benefit the rankings performance of your website. There are a number of ways good content, and a good social media campaign will work towards better SEO:

  • Hashtags and engagement increase your inbound audience
  • Get more traffic to your website
  • Build links (even if they aren’t all indexed straight away)
  • Get noticed on social media to get your social media noticed by search engines

Conclusion

If you are serious about SEO, and you should be, you certainly need to make an effort on social media. Social media and SEO go hand in hand because both are about trying to engage with as many people as possible in order to grow your business. For advice and support from an agency that does both, get in touch with Alloy today. If you’d like to know more about our social media marketing services tap here. If you’d like more info on our SEO agency head here.

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