Socialization of search:
In December 2010, Matt Cutts from Google confirmed the use of social signals in Google search rankings. A year later (January 2012), Google introduced “Search, plus Your World”, where search results include relevant Google Plus posts and links shared by the user’s friends.
Then on May 10 2012, Bing introduced a new social search which displays a user’s Facebook friends, and “experts” on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus etc, who may be know something about the user’s search query.
Beyond winning prospects from social media platforms, social media marketing has become increasingly important for gaining prospects from search engines.
Social media levers impacting search results
What are social media marketing levers that impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to improve a web page’s visibility from search? Here’re select factors from findings reported by Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOmoz and Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land.
Correlation of Social Signals with Search Ranking
- Volume of social sharing: The number of Facebook shares, likes and comments and the number of tweets of a link, are correlated with the link’s search ranking (source: SEOmoz)
- Social authority of person sharing: The social authority of user affects the search ranking of a web page shared by the user (eg, who user is, the number of followers) (source: Search Engine Land)
- Diversity of social platforms on which link is shared: A link shared on both Facebook and Twitter is considered more ‘legitimate’ (source: Search Engine Land)
While these findings predate the most recent Google-Bing social search innovations, they provide useful insights on how social media has impacted search.
Killing two birds with one stone
A previous blog post laid out a framework to develop social media marketing tactics aimed at maximizing prospects from social media channels.
With the socialization of search, those social media marketing tactics will not only yield direct social media benefits, but also bring SEO gains:
- Social reach: Get on multiple social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus) and maximize connections on each network
- Social activity: Post frequently and distribute each post across multiple social networks
- Engaging content: Share content links that is likely to be liked, commented on, and shared, especially by users with social authority
Are you leveraging social media marketing for SEO benefits?