There continues to be a groundswell of attention towards Social Media in mainstream media and other circles, but let’s examine Social Media’s relevance to SEO. The majority of industry experts, including those in-house here at TDM, would argue that a well crafted, well executed social media marketing strategy WILL have positive benefit on a brand’s natural search rankings. An in-depth discussion is currently taking place at the popular UK-based site eConsultancy on just how much social media influences rank order (positively, neutrally, and negatively).
Below are a couple of key reasons why we at Triangle Direct Media believe social media can and will continue to impact the organic rankings of a website:
- Search engines, like Google, examine the quality & diversity of backlinks along with the “buzz” of a brand through Trust & Authority variables. Social Media is becoming mainstream so a brand’s participation in these channels helps it become an even stronger “subject matter expert” and informational resource.
- Social Media reaches a very large and diverse audience of content creators, discussion participants and sideline observers. Social Media “content creators” serve as a very likely source for natural link building should a brand’s content or network participation move these content creators to post on their own sites or blogs about the brand.
- While most major social networks allow for back links, such links almost always include the nofollow attribute which do not count in most search engine algorithms. In contrast, a number of social media outlets do provide brands the ability to secure and create “follow” links as part of the content creation life cycle. These pages get indexed and cached, serving as a credible link building channel. It’s important that brands actively participate to boost in-network visibility or the strength of a given set of social profiles or social content pages.
- Blogs have proven to be a very strong platform for ranking well in major search engines through the practice of developing solid, unique content on a consistent basis while participating in a ecosystem of industry-related and/or peer blog publishers. Not only do blog posts rank well, they also serve as a strong source for link building particularly when posts go viral and secure active comment discussions.
- Universal search has opened new ranking opportunities for online brands that effectively create content through video, images, news, blogs and other Social Media oriented vehicles. Many community sites provide great opportunities for instructional or informational content creation that incorporates text, video, images and discussions — these typically rank pretty well and can be a good source for ‘followed’ back links.
For anyone that has been an active member of SEO community for the past 5-10 years, determining the most productive and cost-effective ways to help clients rank on the first page is how we’re measured. Leveraging social media is a positive and the next evolutionary step in organic search. The above reasons are what standout as an argument to brand advertisers to engage social media from a natural search ranking perspective. There are obviously many other benefits social media marketing can deliver brands such as consumer-engagement, product testing, brand discussions, contests, etc.
Do you have any other primary reasons why companies interested in organic rankings in Google, Yahoo & MSN/Live should leverage Social Media Marketing?