ELI5: Social Media & SEO….A Complicated Relationship

Oct 18, 2016 | ELI5 Tuesday, SEO, Social Media

A Brief History

Back in January 2014…..which seems like an eternity ago in the world of SEO. Google finally announced publicly that social media and SEO are connected, a fact long suspected by myself and my peers. Though at the time Google did not index every single share and post, it was an important first step in acknowledgement of a connection by our SEO overlords at Google.

Google, however, still has not told us what connection there is from a technical standpoint; only that there is one and odds are we’ll never know. Recently, SEO analysts like ourselves have been able to prove, through data, that a link does exist. There is a strong correlation to social media presence and SEO.

Links And Backlinks

Google has specific factors that determine SEO and how you rank. One of the more popular ones is how many links to your website reside on other websites and go directly to your page or a piece of your content. This type of SEO, however, was easy to manipulate through black hat tactics and, as such, Google has actively and aggressively pursued websites that use “link farms” to generate SEO. As part of this reaction by Google, we can see that their algorithm now most likely uses likes, shares and links on social media websites to determine legitimacy. The more followers you have that like and share your content, the more likely you are to be a legitimate company.

Social Media Legitimizes Brands

To be perfectly honest, Google does not care about you and your business. They only care about providing the best possible product to it’s consumers, just like you and I do in our respective fields. Google’s only goal is to provide accurate search results to its customers that provide value. Active engagement on social media is a factor they use to determine whether or not you are actually providing value to the search masses. If you curate content, like and share other people’s content, and respond to consumers who reach out to you on social media, this is a huge insight for Google to show you do care about your online customers. That’s what is important to Google.

Google+ Is Important!

Okay okay, I know that Google+ is a desolate place as a social media platform. It does however excel at one thing, Google My Business. Recently we wrote and detailed article explaining how and why Google+ and Google My Business generate local SEO. There are many factors that link the two together but the short version is…Google+ is a goldmine for Local SEO. Take it seriously.

Also, if you’re wondering how, here is a guide to optimizing Google+ for local SEO.

SEO Has Evolved From A Purely Technical Field

As noted before, Google’s sole goal is to provide relevant and valuable content at the top of search results. This means that SEO has moved from a primarily technical coding field (which it still largely is) to a combination of Social + Technical. Google is weighing how “human friendly” your content is rather than just creating an insensible post filled with keywords. Yes, obviously the technical aspect of where, how often and what keywords you use, along with its related metadata, still matter. But by genuinely answering questions that people are asking in there Google searches, you’re providing Google value, their users value, and that SEO boost will greatly benefit your business as well.

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