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How Social Media effect Google Website Ranking

Will increasing my social media activity help my website ranking on Google?

This informal CPD article “Will increasing my social media activity help my website ranking on Google?” was provided by JC Social Media, leaders in delivering training courses on all aspects of social media since 2011.

Increasing website visibility

Increasing a website’s visibility online can make a huge difference to brand awareness and the bottom line. The practice of search engine optimisation (SEO) is older than Google, itself, but is constantly evolving with the times. Organisations seeking to elevate the prominence of their website for relevant searches on Google should always be on the lookout for tactics they can use and social media has its role to play. In this post, we look at what that role is and how organisations can best leverage it.

Is there a direct benefit to my website ranking power from using social media?

The simple answer to this question is “no”. Google has even gone on the record to inform marketers that they do not take into account “social signals” in their algorithm. On the surface, what this suggests is that it doesn’t matter how many followers an organisation has on Twitter or how often it posts to Facebook in terms of SEO. But disregarding social media on this basis would be a mistake.

The value of social networks

Firstly, whilst Google has stated they ignore social signals, they do treat the social networks like typical websites so its spiders crawl the sites and follow the links, as normal. This means that despite what Google has said, there may still be some value in those links. Furthermore, there’s no reason why Google won’t change its policy on social signals and suddenly everyone will be jumping on social media to give themselves a boost. Being there early will give you a huge head start.

Other considerations

Your social profiles are likely to show up in the Google results when someone searches your name or potentially something related. The social networks are powerful websites so your profiles on them carry weight with the search engines. People also use social networks as search engines. This is particularly true of Pinterest and YouTube so having content that ranks well for relevant searches there can be very useful. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have search functions so having well-optimised profiles and active accounts that share relevant content consistently will help you be found.

Indirect benefits of social media on SEO

Increased reach and influence on social media builds your overall online presence. The more people who see your content, the more people will Google your brand name and pay your website a visit. The more people that visit your site, the greater the chance of them sharing your content and that content securing valuable backlinks.

You may also find that having engaging social media profiles heighten the interest and affinity people feel towards your brand. This will likely lead people to spend longer on your site, reading more articles and returning to your site regularly. Many journalists or media outlets reach out to businesses or industry influencers for comment on social media. This could lead to more opportunities for online coverage and those all-important backlinks. These, in turn, will lead to a greater social media presence and the cycle continues.

The key point to take from all this is that a thriving social media presence can affect things that we know have a direct impact on search engine visibility.

Social media signals correlate with Google ranking

Many authoritative sources have analysed the relationship between social media presence and Google rank. The findings are quite clear. The websites that rank higher on Google tend to have the largest social media presence. There is a pretty consistent drop as we move down the search results when looking at the data on a large scale.

Without assigning causality either way, we can say that high ranking webpages belong to websites that have large social media presences and that brands with large social media presences tend to have websites that perform well on Google. This is not a coincidence. A brand or organisation’s online presence is complex and interwoven so it makes sense that there’s a link between factors.

Social media and SEO – The bottom line

Whilst increasingly your Twitter followers or Facebook page likes may not jump you up from page two of Google to page one, do not underestimate the power of social on SEO. Swelling your social media presence and influence will undoubtedly benefit your online visibility, including on Google. Trust in the myriad mechanisms at play on the internet and watch the results proliferate.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from JC Social Media please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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