4 Reasons Social Media Is Vital To SEO Regardless Of What Google Says

May 25, 2015

The impact of social media on search results has been an ongoing source of confusion. At times it has been tough to keep in touch with the most hotly followed on-again off-again relationship since Ross and Rachel. We’ve watched on with baited breath as Google’s head of search quality, Matt Cutts, told us that social authority wasn’t a factor in search results, then it was and finally it wasn’t again. The last official word from Google is that social authority is NOT something that is analysed in the search algorithm. That statement came just before a report was released that said 82% of digital marketers considered social an important part of SEO strategy.

Social may not be a direct consideration of the search algorithm. The amount of likes or followers you have may not be the cause for the boost in your search results. In the war with the bots it would be hard for Google to examine the validity of your social following. 10,000 followers on Facebook alone may not help your SEO but the flow on effects and benefits from having a captive audience on social media definitely does. Here are some of the flow-on SEO benefits of having your social media game on point:

The links still count

While Facebook doesn’t take page authority into account it does search the links of public accounts. So the shares your content generates count as valuable backlink traffic to your website and improves your page authority.

Your social page is a search weapon

A typical search result will have an official website ranking #1 and social accounts at #2 and #3. Surprisingly nearly 25% of people bypass the official website and skip straight to your social accounts when investigating a brand. Having a thriving, up-to-date social presence allows people to easily connect with your brand identity when they are doing their research.

Search has gone social

They might not rival the size and scope of Google but searches on Twitter and Facebook are a growing channel for your brand to engage people. Twitter alone has 2.1 Billion user searches per day.

Twitter’s link with Google is set to grow.

Twitter is teaming up with Google to make “fire hose” user data available. We haven’t seen the direct result of the partnership yet, but it is likely to lead to an increase in Twitter results appearing in searches, especially around news events. It also gives Google more access to data to make informed decisions on Social Authority, opening the door for that to become a factor in the search algorithm again.

Even if it is not a direct ranking factor social is a crucial aspect of search marketing. The account may not be factored in but the content definitely is. A thriving social account gives brands access to a captive audience, so in effect your social accounts are your own little publishing hubs that give your content the chance to be linked to and spread across more websites and blogs.