For a while now we have heard how social networks help with the SEO and positioning of a website. There are many studies that have sought to measure this impact, with varying experiments and assumptions between networks. As a result we see things like “60 retweets of your content are equal to 10 +1s” on Google Plus. Or… “a Facebook group with 1000 users will position the same as a Google Plus page with 100 followers” etc.
It is true that in some specific cases, taking into account all the variables, we can see an improvement in the positioning of brands that are active on social networks. While this has allowed us to check for a correlation between the two, currently it is still too difficult to establish a ´cause and effect’ relationship.
If there´s one thing that social networks do, it is help a business or website in positioning itself, both in search engines and in the mind of the user. Without becoming obsessed about the ins and outs of Google´s ‘dark and secretive´ algorithm, we present to you 5 reasons why social networks will help improve the positioning of your website:
They ensure that websites and their content are indexed more quickly. Twitter reduces indexation time by around 50% and enables Google robots to find branded content in only a matter of seconds. In addition, your community will be the first to know about your new content and, if it interests them, they´re able to share it with their contacts.
Although there is no ‘magic formula’, the number of ‘interactions’ on social networks can temporarily improve the positioning of brands in search engines. Something useful for new launches, crisis management etc. and always a valuable boost for an overall strategy.
They help to improve the positioning of brands within their own social media contacts and to generate top of minds. Top of mind has long been seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ of advertising. We´ll not just forget about it now! So if that contact was to do a search on Google, and even if you find yourself as the fourth result, if they know your brand then you´ll still have a good chance of them viewing your page. And also if they see you in a shop, for example.
They favour brands who are authors of their own content. Google is implementing a complex system that reveals who writes the content on the internet, and it seems that Google Autorship could be the next Google Rank. Content that is created by your brand and shared on social networks is a certainly a good sign from Google´s point of view. This will also be of benefit to your users!
Social bookmarks demonstrate to search engines that the brands behind them have authority and popularity on social networks. When a brand has a lot of activity on social media, it´s showing search engines that its content is authentic and useful for internet users. Google´s aim is to ‘organise the internet’ for users, which certainly adds up.
However, although we use social networks as a tool that contributes toward positioning, it´s important to remember that the very essence of social networks is and always will be about conversing. Don´t expect to obtain interactions simply by publishing or creating optimised content. SEO doesn´t necessarily complement Social, nor does Social have any value without positioning: Both are online marketing strategies and both have to be addressed in an overall way.
Incidentally, Google continues with its efforts to end the ‘tricks’ of online marketing. If links and spasm are their current ‘sticking point’, social networks could very well be their next. Youtube has already warned that those who buy video views will be persecuted.