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Social Signals and their Growing Influence over SEO

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) used to be the ultimate means to achieving top rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). More than a decade ago, when search engine marketing was still in its infancy, it was easy to dupe the search engines into believing how relevant a page was to a particular search term.

Years later, after several versions of search algorithms, the search engines evolved into highly sophisticated programs. SEO became an industry that was reserved only for the elite. And even among the elite, SEO was a cutthroat endeavor.

Then social media came along. The birth of Friendster, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook, to name a few, ushered in a new billion-dollar industry. At first, social media represented a stand-alone channel for marketing brands or for getting the word out about a certain cause.

Social media used to constitute a separate Internet marketing channel that offered instant traffic, but became more effective at creating brand awareness. Despite their effectiveness, social media initially had no influence over how a site or a web page ranked in the search engines.

But because of the growing influence of social media over how brands, products, or services are perceived and interacted with by stakeholders, the search engines no longer ignore it.

In fact, today, social media play a vital role in SEO. Because more people are turning to social media channels such as blogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, and video-sharing sites to find things that interest them, search engines now factor in social signals to determine a site’s ranking.

To prove how social media influence a site’s search ranking, Texas-based digital marketing company TastyPlacement did a remarkable study on the subject (shown in their infographic below).

TastyPlacement promoted five different websites using the following five different ways of social media activities:

  • Google+ followers
  • Number of Google+ +1’s
  • Facebook shares
  • Tweets and retweets
  • Number of Twitter followers

The results showed compelling evidence of how social signals influence a site’s placement on Google.

Social Signals

SEO significantly changed to include social media, a compelling array of marketing and communication channels. By including an active social media campaign into your online marketing mix, you will have a better chance of dominating your niche in the competitive search market.

To find out more about how we can help you increase your rankings via effective social media marketing strategies, contact us for a free consultation.


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Jayson DeMers

Jayson DeMers is the Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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1 Comment

  1. avatar


    I have not seen this level of SERPs increase with the above factors.

    Perhaps I was measuring wrong.

    How does one get a 14.63 position rise?
    Or a 6.9 or a 2.88?

    Positions rise by whole numbers.
    You go from #25 to #3

    What I have seen is that social networking accounts pointing to the company website count as a link.
    Nothing special.
    A link is a link is a link, and no links count for SERPs anymore.

    In my testing a page rose from a mid 20’s position to #1 for about 9 days when a specific page was retweeted a few times.
    After this time it returned to it’s normal position.

    The same thing happened with G+1 votes.
    3 votes moved the keyword phrase to #3 from #25
    It stayed there for about the same amount of time and moved down to around 22.

    Several months later the only change has been more G+1 votes and the page has risen to around #12.

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