Chapter 6: Social Media & Ranking In Search Results

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Using links as an Off The Page ranking factor was a great leap forward for search engines. But over time, links have lost their value for a variety of reasons. Some sites are stingy about linking out. Others block many links to help fight spam. Links get bought and sold, making them less trustworthy.

 

Enter social media. If links were a way for people to “vote” in favor of sites before, social media sharing is a far earlier way for that type of voting behavior to continue. Social signals are continuing to rise as an important ranking factor that search engines are using.

Sr: Social Reputation

Just as search engines don’t count all links equally, nor do they view all social accounts as being the same. That makes sense, since anyone can easily create a new account on a social network. What’s to prevent someone from making 100 different accounts in order to manufacture fake buzz?

Nothing, really, other than fake accounts like these can be easy to spot. They may have few “quality” friends in their network. Few might pass along material they share.

Ideally, you want to gain references from social accounts with good reputations. Having a social account with a good reputation of its own is great, too. So participate in the social world in a real, quality way, just as you would with your web site.

To understand more about how search engines are making use of social signals, see this in-depth report below:

  • What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?

Ss: Social Shares

Similar to links, while getting quality social shares is ideal, being shared widely on social networks by many is still helpful.

Again, participation in social sharing sites is crucial. If you don’t have a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, a LinkedIn group, you’re missing out on opportunities to be easily shared. You’re not building up a network that can help spread the news.

What about Google’s recently launched Google +1? That is yet another form of social share, and one that Google says definitely is a factor in your favor for rankings.

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