5 Must-Knows about Social Media and SEO that You Should Never Forget
Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, responding to both changing consumer habits and Google’s search algorithms to raise the importance of certain content over other search results. Even though Google has stated that social media influence doesn’t contribute to their search rankings for SEO, companies are still investing heavily in combining their social media strategies and SEO because both can benefit from the exposure.
Even though Google doesn’t factor social media influence into their ranking, SEO-focused marketers should still promote integration between the two, and this article highlights just why this is important.

5 Must-Knows about Social Media and SEO that You Should Never Forget

1. Search rankings may or may not improve using social media

Google has specifically stated that the significance or popularity of a social media profile is not an indicator of the profile’s trustworthiness and authority for them. However, they remain quiet about the significance of links originating from social media – are they reliable backlinks? How much influence do they have? If a certain post goes viral on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, will it get a higher ranking in a simple Google search?
SEO marketers believe that backlinks from social media to your website can have an impact on search rankings. Because social media is where content can be most easily circulated, links from sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, among others, can improve how search engines perceive your content.
An interview with Google and Bing to investigate the significance of social links revealed that once again, Google doesn’t attribute much to social links for content, but Bing definitely does. Search engines like Bing consider not only the number of tweets and retweets a link has raised but also the popularity of Twitter accounts sharing that link.
Google’s Matt Cutts, however, says Google also crawls social sites for information in search queries in the same way that other websites are crawled. That means the content on social sites that are considered relevant to a query will be returned in search results the same way as other results. There is, therefore, a small possibility that social signals, e.g. number of links to a specific site, can still have some effect on search rankings in an organic (basic) search.

2. Search engines rank social media profiles 

Social profiles greatly influence the content of search results, even though social shares or links may not. In fact, Google returns relevant social profiles very high on their ranks, such as for queries listing brand names. Even more so, the right-hand sidebar displays Google+ profile information right at the top of the page.
Social media accounts seem more personal than websites and are a great way for searchers to gain insight into a company’s personality. In fact, I typically go to a company’s social profile if I want to learn more about a brand I’m not familiar with. Therefore, if social profiles come at the top of search results for a brand I search for, I’m just as likely to click on them as I would their website.
Social profiles are important for people searching for your brand online, especially the younger generations. Your social accounts can add the element of engagement, fun and personality to a brand whose official website seems too “serious.” In particular, don’t discount the significance of a Google+ profile, even if it doesn’t seem as popular a platform as other social sites.
[RELATED: 5 Easy Ways To Make Sure Your Brand Stays In The Public Eye]

3. Social media platforms also have search algorithms 

Gone are the days when Google, Bing, and traditional search engines were the only sources of information about various things. Today, people use their social media accounts to search for things just like they would on Google. That means search engine optimization should include searches taking place in these social profiles.
By nature, brands with attractive or catchy visuals will benefit greatly from promoting their presence on social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure to use the correct hashtags and properly categorize your boards and pins so that they’re easier to find. Remember that this doesn’t remove the need to have active Twitter and Facebook profiles as well since this is where your audience is most likely to search for you.
Start by running a quick search of your brand to see how customers and searchers see you. Then, redefine your concept of SEO to focus not just on traditional search engines, but also social media search engines. Make sure that your users can identify your official brand page by deleting duplicate accounts, or clearly labeling the purpose of each page if duplicates are needed.

4. Google may still consider social signals 

Even though Google doesn’t acknowledge social signals as part of their algorithm right now, that doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future. Google is constantly updating its algorithms to include relevant signals that will help them provide more accurate search results.
The value of social media to a brand’s online presence is not expected to decline soon, especially since certain quality indicators like guest blogging have become less reliable over time. It’s not entirely ridiculous to assume that Google may hunt for other signs of influence and trustworthiness, i.e. on social media. Smart brands should keep building their social profiles as part of their SEO and online marketing strategy; it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

5. Bing is a valid search engine 

Even though many consumers use Google for searches, there’s a significant proportion using Bing. And Bing considers social signals quite highly in their search ranking algorithms. Bing looks at your social influence as your brand. How many people follow you, how many you follow – both these influence your listing in search results.
As the second most-used search engine, you should be interested in what they have to say and tailoring your own strategies to their needs. As their market share becomes more significant, your brand will enjoy the fruits of this in bucketfuls.

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