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Social Media and SEO

Posted by Daniel Jauk, 19 Feb, 2015 | No Comments »

We think it’s worth knowing the relationship between social media and SEO if you want to expand your SEO campaign. In this post, we’re going to dispel some myths regarding how social media affects SEO, talk about the correlation between social media and SEO, and discuss how it all comes down to content.

Social Signals Are (Now) a Myth

In 2010, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, said that Google collects social signals (data from social networking sites, such as likes, comments, shares, tweets, and number of followers) as part of its algorithm to help determine website rankings. Since then, SEO experts have been trying to look for a causative effect on how social media affects SEO; ie whether the number of followers on a social media page influences SEO. But, in early 2014, Cutts said that social signals don’t affect rankings, which means that somewhere along the line Google stopped collecting this data. That’s right: there’s no longer a direct link between your number of followers on social media and SEO.

Correlation, Not Causation

Social media doesn’t have a causative influence on your website’s ranking, but there is still a very strong correlation between social media and SEO. Social media is another way of spreading the word online and creating “buzz” around your website, in turn building online authority around you and your brand. Your number of Facebook followers won’t directly influence Google’s algorithm for determining your website’s ranking – but if your followers visit your website and then like, share, comment, and provide links to your website (which will get their friends to visit your website), then that will raise your website’s ranking.

It All Comes Down to Content

People on social media will be more likely to spread the word about your website if your content is worth reading. No, that doesn’t mean that you have to win the Pulitzer Prize for your writing or an award in graphic design for your images, but your choice of content should be of a high quality… whether it’s intelligent, witty, or trendy. All of this will help spread the word online, which will increase the number of visitors to your website, your website’s ranking, AND your number of potential customers.

Summing Up Social Media and SEO

While your number of followers won’t directly impact your website’s ranking, an active social media campaign can create buzz. That buzz can drive traffic, generate links, and build your online authority, which will help your SEO campaign. It can also get people to recommend your website or refer your products and services to their friends. So what’s the ultimate message? The raw number of followers you have isn’t important… what’s important is the ongoing interaction you have with your customers and the buzz generated by your activity on social media.

Have something to add about the relationship between social media and SEO? Leave a comment below!

Daniel Jauk

Daniel Jauk

Daniel is a copywriter, reviewer, creative writer, and online blog writer. When he's not writing, you'll find Daniel snorkelling, hiking, or curled up with a good book.

Daniel is currently writing full time as part of Curtin University's Marketing team.
Daniel Jauk

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