How Social Media Effects SEO

by: Karen Scharf, Small Business Marketing

For a long time SEO experts have considered social media a low priority source of traffic for search engine links, though many still use it to build customer relationships and share website information. Recently, a change in the way popular search engines like Google calculate the value of social media links has made building social traffic a much higher priority for anyone interested in getting a search engine rank. Understanding how social media links are starting to effect SEO is vital for getting the rank you need and keeping it.

Squint at theeHow Valuable Are Social Media Links?

Like traditional links from websites and blogs, high quality social media links now have the potential to improve your search engine rank. While it is still unclear exactly how much social media linking will improve search engine ranks, it is becoming obvious that it does. The rules for getting social media links that help are similar to what you need to do with standard linking. Consider a few high quality links much more valuable than a flood of low quality links, and watch out for penalties if you try to abuse social media for link building. The best social media links from an SEO perspective are still genuine recommendation from profiles with trust- followers and friends- from other high quality profiles.

How Should Social Media Be Used For SEO?

When using social media outlets to try to improve your site ranking, there are several things you should keep in mind:

  • Choose friends and profiles with care. Look at more than just the overall number of friends when considering a social media profile. Consider the presence the other party has, the type of friends they choose, and whether their activity level will be a good match for yours. Never use networks designed to flood your profile with friends or your posts with sharing.
  • Make sure that you are putting in the time and energy that it takes to forge actual two way social relationships with as many people as possible. Sending one way content to a list may give you an immediate traffic spike, but it probably will not offer as much SEO value as the same content sent to people with an actual connection with you.
  • Never send frequently repeating spam through social media outlets. Search engines are working on algorithms to recognize social media spam, and a large volume of repeating posts will almost certainly drive away the real relationships that will actually make your social media presence valuable for SEO.

With the right level of attention and a genuine interest in building quality traffic, social media can be a valuable tool for improving search engine rank. As the amount of junk social media link building continues to increase and search engines find new ways to penalize it, a high quality genuine social media presence will become an important part of good SEO.

Photo by Tomi Tapio

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