Whether social media links help SEO is often a debatable topic among marketing professionals. With the high secrecy of Google’s algorithm, it can be difficult to determine how social media affects search rankings. However, if you refer to the comments from official Google channels, social links are actually not a direct factor in determining search rankings. But, the question still remains as to whether social media links might have an indirect impact on search engine rankings.
In reality, Google considers top social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as just another web page without giving brownie points to them. So, what does this mean? Does it mean that social media isn’t a direct ranking factor and it doesn’t impact ranking?
Social channels accommodate sharing
Social media promotes sharing which adds visibility to the content. If people share your content on social media, then it’s likely more people will link to it, and links are an important SEO ranking factor. We already know Google treats individual pages on social sites equally as any other web page, which means that viral pages may well affect the search rankings in an indirect way. While it turns out that the overall authority of a page probably doesn’t impact SEO, individual links and posts probably do.
Increase in audience boosts SEO
The effectiveness of social media for SEO depends on the amount of audience you have. The more followers you have, the more chances to get your ranking boosted. You need real fans who are engaged in your product or service to interact with your brand on social media. Gaining quality followers takes a while, but if you stick with it, you’ll see results in SEO.
Increase in brand awareness
This is a basic principle that the jump in Google search rankings is directly proportionate to the better experience the fans and viewers have with the content shared in your social channels. Better quality of branded content helps in getting a larger number of viewers and an increase in branded and non-branded searches. It is correlated – having a strong brand presence on social media results in greater search visibility across the search engines.
So, what is the answer to the question of whether social media links impact SEO? In my opinion, social links do have an indirect effect by increasing the Authority of the overall website.
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Interested in learning more about SEO? You may also want to read SEO for PDFs.
Post by Kaushal Sharma, marketing consultant-digital and social media.