Social Media and SEO: Good News/Bad News

Everyone knows that building links is an important aspect of SEO – but too many look to social media as their primary link-building tool. Unfortunately, social media has a very limited and indirect impact on your site’s search engine optimization.
That’s not to say that SEO and social media have no relationship – it just needs to be understood and utilized in the right way. When it comes to social media and SEO collaboration there is good news and bad news – which do you want first? (Just kidding, don’t really answer that. I won’t hear you and then we’ll both feel embarrassed)

The Bad News

That’s what you wanted first right? The bad news is that Google totally ignores social shares in their ranking algorithms – that’s right, creating viral social media content isn’t helping your SEO. There are various reasons for that, but here’s the highlights:

  • Social Media isn’t reliable – hard to believe, I know, but it’s too easy to pay/cheat/bride your way to social media success and Google doesn’t want their search result cart hitched to that horse.
  • Limited Resources – Each and every tweet, status, picture, video, and post is seen by Google as a new page. The juice from crawling, indexing, and sorting that volume of data isn’t worth the squeeze – even for Google.

So, those 10k Facebook followers aren’t really doing you any SEO favors – or so it seems. But we’ve only looked at the bad news. There is some good news mixed into the social media/SEO equation – I’ve saved it for last because I know you like to end on a positive note.

The Good News

Here comes the good news – prepare yourself. Facebook and other social media sites can help your SEO efforts but in a more tangential way than many expect. There are three ways that a strong social media presence can help your SEO, and all three are within your reach:

  • Encourage Backlinks – Social shares and followers may not be counted by Google, but if your posting top-quality, popular content then it is bound to lead to backlinks and shares outside of social media
  • Build Relationships – Having a popular social media account will build relationships with industry experts and influencers. Leverage these relationships to land guest blog spots, interviews, round-ups, and references.
  • Site Visits – If you’re linking to your website (and you should be) from your social media, then you will be directing traffic that way. Even if Google isn’t directly tracking that information it will likely result in increasing popularity, time-on-page, and site interaction.

Social Media for the Right Reasons

Trying to use social media strictly to help your SEO is a bad idea. Instead social media needs to be used for its own merits – building, growing, and maintaining a following; and any SEO benefit is secondary and a nice little bonus on the top (like a cherry, but it doesn’t taste as good).
Fusion Group USA handles both social media management and SEO services – if you need help developing one, the other, or both; contact us today and set up a consultation!

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