Why social media helps search rankings
17th September 2013
SEO & Marketing

Why social media helps search rankings

Many business owners that you talk to are now aware that social media is the latest buzz, however they sweep it aside thinking they don’t have time and that it is just a passing fad.

What most of them don’t understand is that social media is not only a great marketing tool for their business, it has huge benefits for their website and help boost their website rankings in Google and other search engines.

How did search engines work before social media?

Prior to May this year, SEO was a fairly simple game. Getting links from other websites to your own helped with rankings, however this caused a problem with quantity coming before quality. This meant that you could create a whole bunch of pages filled with relevant keywords and then gain a large amount of ‘backlinks’ to these pages indicating that the website was ‘popular’.

This forced Google to re-think their strategies and change their algorithm (a highly complex set of equations for ranking pages) earlier this year causing a whole bunch of websites to fall off the rankings. Google realised that it had to find a better way to determine what content was popular, as well as being beneficial for the user and not written just for the search engines to find. This is where social media comes in.

So how could social media help?

Social media brings a human element into the equation, allowing for a crowd validation when it comes to the quality and popularity of content. If real humans are engaging with your content by linking to it from social media, ‘liking’ it and sharing it with their friends, it indicates to search engines that your websites content is authentic and is written for the benefit of the user.

This is why social media can be hugely important in search engine rankings. If users aren’t interacting with your content then most likely it’s not beneficial to them, signalling to search engines that it may not be as valuable compared to similar sites.

What do I need to do to my website?

As I have mentioned in previous articles, search engines love websites that are constantly updating and adding new content. A great way to do this is to have a blog on your website. I have written a separate article on the many benefits of a blogs, but it is great tool for generating interest in your website and creating valuable content to promote on social media.

You can also get your web developer to add some handy social media plugins to your blog to easily allow users to like and share your content with their friends.

If you get a blog through Digital Developments, we include all the social media widgets and plugins as standard, along with a few other handy features so that users can easily engage with your articles.

We can also help you set up Google authorship, which again I have written a full article on, which allows you to attribute ownership to your articles and prevent other websites stealing your unique content and claiming it as their own.

It’s not the be all and end all

Remember that social media is not the only factor in search engine rankings, there a plenty of others, however it is certainly a contributing factor to the complicated equation. If you have a website and are not engaging in social media then most likely your competitors are leaving you for dead, so for more information on how to jump into the exciting world of social media feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.