Is Social Media Really Helping SEO?
December 13, 2012 2 Comments
Social media, an industry originally outfitted for supporting and engaging our personal connections, has in the past few years turned into a form of marketing communication, as well as a community building opportunity for brands and businesses. It is for this reason that social media has attracted the attention of marketers, including those who are involved in search engine marketing. According to recent studies, people are spending over 6.7 billion hours on social networking platforms in one month alone. As a result of this, the expectations of the searchers have changed – they are no longer interested in searching for some information for a certain specific outcome only.
Research shows that Facebook alone has around 1.2 billion users worldwide. When add the number of users on platforms such as Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, etc., the amount of users worldwide is mind-boggling. While not all Internet users will have a social profile to conduct searches, you can be very confident that there will be a high percentage of users who do due to the number of profiles worldwide.
After all, since a lot of time is spent in connecting, sharing, and interacting through the social web, people wish to interact with whatever they find in these search results too. Searchers are saving the useful things that they find by bookmarking them or by saving these to their favorite’s folder on their web browser. These bookmarks are shared with other likeminded searchers. The growth of web applications such as social bookmarks, news, networking, messaging, as well as publishing and media sharing have enhanced the expectations of consumers for social interaction with these search results even more. Also, 70% of all searches are for the long tailed keywords, and hence these cannot be ignored.
Another aspect that illustrates the way social media is influencing SEO is that people do not trust the formal marketing messages as much as they used to. Now, they are more willing to trust a recommendation made by others who review products/services and then are sharing their opinions through social media. Marketers are well aware of this and as a result, there are many “fake” reviews available on various ecommerce sites.
SEO Does Not Employ Only Keywords and Links for Content Optimization
It focuses on usability as well and makes it easy for viewers to socially save, share, as well as interact with that content in order to help meet increasing social expectations. While people initiate action through posting a query on any search engine when they have an unmet need, they spend time on the social web to interact with likeminded individuals who may be in their community or network.
At this time, they are even looking for as well as sharing recommendations. While the search engines and search advertisers are making efforts to make their ads more relevant to searchers, it is the quality of interactions which searchers have on the social media that helps to build trust and this cannot be duplicated in online advertising.
It is for this reason that companies use their brand name in posts. In addition, the search engines are also noticing any social links that are immediately associated with the company. Since social media is really helping SEO, hundreds of social media platforms have cropped up that tend to support different communities with varying interests. So, in the case that a company is not able to fit in a certain culture of a specific community, it does not have to join it. As a result, companies look for communities that may have the potential to be interested in thier industry, and not just those that have the most traffic.
Overall, it is better if your social media site has more followers, likes, or even circles. This means that bigger audiences will have access to your material being shared across more networks, and in effect, your links will gain more trust from the search engines which will lead to better SEO rankings.
Social media is having and will continue to have a major impact on SEO. As more and more people are joining various social media platforms, it is well advised that companies take advantage of this to gain greater exposure to not only enhance their business, but take it to the next level.
This post was written by Abbas Hussain, a blogger who enjoys researching how social media is impacting the SEO industry.