Major search engines like Bing and Google are constantly modifying their search ranking algorithms to reflect our activity online, so the answer to this question has changed over time.
It’s no surprise, then, that our engagement with various social sites does actually make a difference with regards to SEO. Simply and plainly, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ Social media platforms do, indeed, facilitate Search Engine Optimization.
As our first post in a series of how social media affects SEO, we will focus on the major search engines’ perception of social signals on Facebook.
Social Signals Matter
The searches we make on a daily basis tend to yield the highest-ranked results on the first page. Sites like Google give us those results because they view them as producing high-quality content.
Their algorithm is based on how much traffic the site receives in a given period of time, how long viewers stay on the site, how frequently the site receives high-quality backlinks, etc. One can view this simply as a popularity contest.
Just like our personalized searches, Google and Bing are now also taking into consideration how content is being shared across major social platforms like Facebook.
Search engines are rewarding users whose content is shared by those of high influence. If the topic is shared frequently enough, the engines will start indexing the keyword so that it becomes easier for users to find.
Facebook and SEO
This is good news for those of us who are active on social sites; we now have another reason to try our hand at popularity.
Leveraging social platforms has become increasingly important in our global marketplace, where we are competing with companies across our shores. Now, there’s more incentive: if our content is shared enough, we move up the ladder in search engine land and level the playing field with our competitors.
So, where do we start? Let’s begin with the most popular social platform in the world: Facebook, with over 1 billion users. Taken with a grain of salt, consider that:
Facebook ‘likes’ do help SEO. Google and Bing have been very clear that they value likes, whether on a brand page or a page post, when indexing search results. If your company has more likes (i.e., is more popular) than your competitor, you will rank more favorably with search engines.
As a social media marketer, think about your behavior on the web. When you view a page or post that has received a lot of likes, you’re more likely to visit or read it, right?
There is social proof that high quality content is being generated, and you want to know what it is. At that point, you might even end up sharing it with your network. Google and Bing take these behaviors into consideration.
Building Facebook likes should be part of an overall SEO strategy, but not something to depend on solely. Likes for pages and posts are great, but Google and Bing take other factors into consideration too.
Proper linking techniques, for example, are more important to search engines than the number of likes a brand has. However, for the purposes of this article, we are focusing on how one’s behavior on Facebook is affecting SEO.
It’s difficult to quantify what a “like” is worth, or how many “points” Google rewards when determining a brand’s search rank. For that reason, we recommend an overall SEO strategy that does not focus solely on likes, but is more comprehensive in nature.
Generally, creating high-quality content that Facebook users will find worthy of reading, liking, and sharing is important for reasons other than building Facebook popularity.
As content is generously liked and shared, Google and Bing will use those social signals to help determine where to place your brand. Moreover, you’ll improve your click-through rate, because you’ll be attracting readers to your blog/website, and THAT will certainly build SEO.
Stay tuned for the continuation of this series as we take a closer look at how Twitter can help your SEO.
If you’d rather be running your business than working on a Facebook strategy, please contact a PR Brigade Social Media Expert to find out how we can help you engage your Facebook audience.