social mediaSearch engines may not rank interaction on social media networks, but using platforms like Facebook, Twitter et al does influence search standings.

Given Google, Bing and Yahoo! intend to promote websites that produce engaging content. It may come as a surprise that likes and shares do not count towards how well a page ranks.

The reason for that however, is because social media networks are not allowing Google to crawl their site and publish content in search results. The only exception is Google+ for obvious reasons.

It is therefore worth posting to Google+ as a matter of course. Even though there is little engagement among the networks users, your content will still attract traffic through search results.

The other exception – once the rules come into play – is Twitter. Google recently struck a deal to include tweets in search results to help the social network drive non-users to its platform. It’s a revenue thing!

How content on social affects ranking

Social media networks are a means of reaching your audience who then click through to your site. This counts as an organic visit and is thus included in your SEO score when the bots coming crawling.

Furthermore, social networks give you the platform to influence inbound links. Other content publishers use social media networks to promote their own content and find inspiration from the work of others.

Inbound links are regarded very highly by search engines and are the best kudos source that improve page rank. It is therefore worth engaging in social media marketing strategy to push content – rather than using social as a virtual advertising billboard.

However, you still have the challenge of competing with other content publishes to capture the attention of your audience.

So what makes content compelling?

Analysis of social attitudes show that people mostly share content that give an impression about themselves they want other people to believe fits their personality.

This essentially means anything interesting, amusing or intelligent. There are many ways of achieving any of these fundamentals, providing you stick with at least one of these key components:

  • provoke emotion, (get a reaction)
  • entertaining, (funny, enlightening, interesting)
  • useful and practical, (how to articles)
  • relevant to your brand and products

Social media may not influence search results directly, but it does improve visibility, direct traffic and increases the potential for inbound links. Social media in your online marketing should therefore not be disregarded.