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The impact of Social Media in SEO

Social media is a great way to measure what real people think about a particular website. The search engines are able to pick up on this and use this information to help determine how the website should be ranked. The following will show the impact of Social Media in SEO

Social Links May or May Not Boost Your Search Rank

Okay, social signals pertaining to a profile’s authority is out, but does Google consider links published on social accounts to be credible back links? When a blog post goes viral on Twitter, do those new links boost the post’s search ranking?

Many marketers believe that links to your website via social media accounts do have a major impact on your search rankings.

Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engines

While social shares may or may not affect a web page’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names. When I searched “General Electric” in Google, the company’s Instagram and Pinterest profiles appeared as the 5th and 6th listings, respectively, and Twitter was the 8th result

Social channels can feel more personal than web pages, and they’re a great way to get a sense of a company’s personality off the bat. When I’m researching a company I don’t know much about I typically go straight to their Twitter or Facebook page. So if a social account shows up at the top of the search results, I’m just as likely to click on it as I would be to click on their website

There’s no doubt that your social profiles matter to Google and especially to people who are looking for you online. A few active social channels can make the experience of getting to know your brand online more fun, engaging and personal. Also, while some may consider Google+ a non-essential social channel, marketers shouldn’t discount the fact that a company’s Google+ profile is one of the first things a searcher will see (and potentially click on). As such, it pays to have a profile with up-to-date info and engaging content.

Social Media Channels are Search Engines too

Nowadays, people don't just go to Google and Bing to look stuff up; they also use social media channels to find what they're looking for.

This works in a couple of ways: First, if you're active on Twitter, it's entirely possible that people will discover your company's new content distribution app after searching for content marketing-related tweets with Twitter's search engine. Likewise, brands that lend themselves to beautiful visual content can benefit from making their content visible in Pinterest and Instagram by using hash tags and properly categorizing their pins.

Moreover, as mentioned in point number 1, if someone wants to check out your company, they're likely to open Twitter and Facebook and do a quick search to see what kind of presence you have on each channel. YouTube, and, of course, Google+ are also search engines.

Not Now Doesn't Mean Not Ever

Just because Google says that social signals don't currently impact search rank, doesn't mean they never will. Social media shows no signs of becoming a less important part of a brand or person's online presence anytime soon; moreover, given that link-building strategies like guest blogging have become a less reliable way to indicate the quality of a web page, it makes sense that search engines would begin to look for other signals of authority and value.

Don't Forget Being

Google may have back-tracked and changed their stance on social signals, but I haven't found any evidence that what Bring told Sullivan for his Search Engine Watch interview doesn't hold true today.

The fact that Google's search algorithm ignores social signals should not be seen as an invitation for marketers to dismiss social's impact on SEO. Instead, marketers should broaden their concept of search and SEO to take into account the myriad ways that people find content on the web. They also need to think about the positive effects that increased traffic from social can potentially have on their search rankings as well as the prominence of social profiles on first page search results.