Why Social Media Is Important for SEO

Social Media and SEOOver the past decade, the web has become far more interactive and collaborative across the board. Social media is a natural consequence of our innate desire as people to interact. For a long time, SEO was strictly concerned with dry technical details like meta data, keyword density and sheer backlink volume. Since then, the formula has gotten a bit more complex. Social media now has a far greater impact on your PageRank and SERPs results, for a variety of reasons.

It Demonstrates Value

According to search engines like Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo, value is the product of a number of factors. Whatever those specific factors happen to be, a common indicator is the number of people that link to a site and share its content via social media. It’s an unfortunate truth of the SEO game that online content is only as valuable as its appeal to web users. Social media activity in the form of Facebook Likes, Twitter Tweets and up-votes on Q&A sites demonstrate value, and that’s just not going to change any time soon.

The Organic Boost: Post-Penguin Ranking Factors

Like it or not, social media impacts organic search results, a fact that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt readily admits. All those inbound links garnered from the viral sharing of social media matter. Google went on the offensive against cheap SEO tricks and link schemes with Penguin. Now, it’s not only the number of people that share your content but also who’s doing the sharing. Social media SEO is all about link authority at this point.

Constant Content Creation

While the latest Google algorithm updates place a greater emphasis on links and link authority, content is still the most critical determinant of value. More importantly, the freshness of content holds a lot of weight. That’s why sites like Reddit, Quora and Facebook manage to nail down so many keyword queries in organic search. They leverage social media to churn out a great deal of user-generated content without having to do much work. User-generated content is yet another excellent fringe benefit of using social media to enhance your SEO efforts.

Bringing It Together

Just because a billion people find something momentarily interesting and express their fleeting approval of it doesn’t make it a high-value resource online. Likewise, just because something has demonstrable value, it doesn’t make it instantly popular. Social indicators in SEO are just another technique that Google and Bing use when trying to rank content on the web. They’re increasingly important, but they’ll never completely take over. Regardless, webmasters and marketers need to factor in their weight when deciding on how to best promote content for wider dissemination around the Internet.


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2 Responses to Why Social Media Is Important for SEO

  1. Josh Moran says:

    I think where this becomes very difficult to navigate for a consultant and executor of social media marketing is choosing which platforms need the most attention at any given time. Of course, we have the ability to post to all social channels with the same message, but building up the activity in every one can be quite the task. I focus on Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn and Google+ but for may companies the task can be daunting. Having content will always be king, but social media adds a variable that makes even the most experienced marketer nervous about the attention they put on unknown variables.

    • Clayton Lainsbury says:

      Hi Josh — thanks for your comment! You’re absolutely correct in saying that executing a proper social media campaign takes time and effort. I think small companies with few resources should simplify and focus on the big two, Facebook and Twitter. Having said that, Google+ now plays a big role in search rankings as Google is looking at how your Circles are structured and what they have +’d in the past, so keep that in mind.