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June 3rd, 2013

Social Media’s Impact on Search Engine Optimization

by Chris Dunn

There is absolutely no question that search engines like Bing and Google are using signals from social media in their ranking algorithms. Back in 2010, Google first released a YouTube video confirming that social media plays a role in search engine optimization (SEO). Today, with its variety of platforms and increase in usage, social media’s influence is exponentially greater than back then. If you’ve neglected to jump on the bandwagon until now, here are a few benefits social media has for your SEO that you can implement today.

Social media creates natural backlinks.
If you create great content, your fans will share it on social media. Be sure to link to your site whenever it makes sense in social media postings. Each time someone shares it creates a valuable backlink to your site. It’s all about quality over quantity these days when it comes to backlinks, and links from social media are seen as more valuable than ever.

Engagement indicates freshness.
Shares, retweets, likes, and +1’s can all indicate to both Google’s and Bing’s algorithm that content is fresh and quality. These interactions with your social content can then give you a temporary increase in search engine rankings. Companies that consistently create original, quality content that entice users to engage on social media will see it pay off on the search engine results pages.

Google+ is a game changer.
While social media sites like Facebook have a bigger market share, Google+ dominates in SEO. Be sure to set up a Google+ page for your business. Here’s a great tip: by adding a little snippet of extra code to your blog post, Google search results will return an image of the author next to the content if they are on Google+. Listings that contain these rich snippets receive a significantly higher click through rate than listings without rich snippets.

There are countless other benefits to social media and its influence on today’s search engine optimization tactics. As the internet continues to grow socially, it simply isn’t good enough to just be on social media—you need to have an active presence.