Why social media has become more important for SEO and marketing
There is little doubt now that social media forms an integral part of search engine optimization and that the search engines definitely take account of social media interaction in their evaluation of your website.
Previously many questioned the role of social media in SEO, with some of the opinion that it had a minimal effect on search engine ranking, while others said it was a central influence. However, in the last year the view from experts has decidedly veered towards a realization of the increasing importance of social media and social media content.
One need only look at an article by Douglas Karr for Marketing TechBlog for an example of this. He provides a thumbnail overview of the present problem in search engine optimization and the reason for the recent updates from Google. The SEO focus on backlinks and the use of unnatural and artificial tactics and methods in obtaining these backlinks, is at the heart of the recent updates. As Douglas Karr states;
“For companies and agencies not willing to cheat, backlinking has been a huge headache. A typical agency simply could not compete with a company that invested large dollars into backlinking schemes with SEO agencies. But the revenue associated with backlinking was too good to pass up for the agency or the client, so people climbed onboard a $5 billion industry according to Forrester.”
In a sense this emphasis on links obtained via social networking is a natural response to the artificial and often spammy sources of backlinks in the past.
In brief, the implication is that social media and social networking sources of links to your site via unique and interesting content has become one of the best and most viable routes to a higher search engine ranking on Google, as well as on the other search engine. As Karr states; there is a move or focus “… away from the popular tactics associated with search engine optimization and towards improved content marketing efforts”.
Here is a succinct view of what Google is looking for to rank a website highly.
“But what does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search they aren’t doing their job.”
What does this mean for you and SEO?
What this all means is that for those wanting to market their website to the search engines they now have to direct their efforts towards SMO or social media optimization. This has become even more of a priority with the emergence of social networks like Instagram and their immense popularity.
The problem of course is that with the increasing number of important social networks emerging, it takes an a great degree of effort in terms of time to carve a niche in the dynamic and ever-changing social media environment. This has meant that many companies have had to devote time and money to cultivating a social media presence. However, this effort to maintain an interactive social media presence is no longer an option for the serious web marketer.
An example of the way social media is functioning can be seen in the appearance of actual social media posts in search engine searches. For example, Pinterest posts or pins are now appearing in search. in other words, the company or enterprise that cultivates a strong presence on Pinterest has a much higher chance of being ranked highly for important keywords on Google search. Imaginet recently wrote a blog article on Telkom lines and posted this to Pinterest. It reached the first page of Google search for both the blog post and the Pinterest Pin.
And this does not only apply to Interest but to other search engines as well. LinkedIn has its own publishing platform – Pulse- which is searchable and each post to Google Plus is a webpage in its own right that can be found and ranked by Google.