In a world where the internet is rapidly growing more and more interactive, Social Signals are becoming increasingly important as an SEO Ranking Factor. This Social Proof helps guide your webpages higher up to a premium listing on Google and other search engines.
Of course others will differ, but then there will always be many opinions on SEO and we all have opinions. Here is mine:
Social Signals help your SEO
Yes. Social Signals really do help your SEO. But before I give you my reasoning and explain what Social Signals are, let me tell you why Social Proof is so important now and into the future.
Life in the Fast Lane
The world becomes faster, more furiously impatient, wanting quick results, need tomorrow’s news today, gimme results NOW! The world is rapidly creating a society of “life in the fast lane people” that cram more and more tasks into their day.
Instead of using technology to get it done faster (and earning more time off), we now have to get MORE done (and have less time off). It would seem people are in a hurry to get to retirement age sooner… so they are filling up their days with as much as possibly available – so the days can fly by fast!
I have 2 words for that: “That’s Nuts!” (English Teacher Bait)
Enter Social Media – Social Proof
With the growth of Social Media over the past decade people are becoming accustomed to fast and instant news. 200 years ago, nobody cared if a bridge collapsed 8000 miles away, if there were earthquakes in far away lands or if a large bird (or 2) flew into a building.
Life would go on the same as before, it didn’t affect their economy, life was “localised” and we were pretty much happy to hear yesterday’s news today.
Now governments are toppled with Social Signals (hint: Egypt), people are trusting the Social Proof they see in places like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.. People are influenced by these social sources more than ever. It becomes a people-regulated truth. Word of mouth recommendations to do something; it’s Social Proof.
More Social Signals means More Votes (by people)
When people see a LIKE from Facebook, a +1 from Google Plus, a Tweet on Twitter, a Stumble on Stumbleupon, they see Social Votes from people.
Sometimes they see that those votes are from their friends, like a word of mouth referral. It’s building a stealthy rapport than helps build the brand or message with the Social Proof attached.
Likewise, it seems, Google see these Social Signals like votes towards a webpage’s popularity. In the past, Google liked to see Links from other websites pointing towards your website. The higher the quality, reputation and relevance of the link, the better.
That hasn’t changed much. Google still like links; they just like the sort of links that arrive in the shape of Social Signals.
.. and they signal you right to the top of Google!
Where to get Social Signals
Social signals are the indicators that point towards your website, placed by many different individuals around the internet. Social Media is a big part of this but not the only place to get Social Proof. Here are some ways these signals arrive to your webpages:
- Your Profiles on Social Media (Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, etc). The activity on these pages will have an influence on the value of the Social Signals you receive. Your interaction with Fans & Followers will also affect this.
- Shares, Likes, Tweets, Google Plus. Votes on your webpages, blog posts, and social media posts, are all signals that matter.
- Brand Awareness. Is your name, brand, or URL being mentioned online? That matters. Google loves brands. Your name is a brand.
- Google Plus Circles. Google surely value how many people have “you” in their Google Plus Circles. I have no doubt about that!
- Google Authorship. Being established with a Google Authorship is like Social Proof. It links to your Google Plus page and shows how many people have you in their Google Plus circles.
- Online Reviews. Do you have a listing in Google Local or Google Places for Business? The amount of customer reviews you have on your listing is another line of Social Proof towards your brand.
The more people are talking about you, your brand, your URL, your blog posts, the more random votes arrive at your website from different locations. These are Social Signals; links with votes to tell Google that you are an authority that deserves to be high up on their listings.
Ask me again. Do Social Signals help your SEO? Yes, they do!
Content is still King: Create Content that People Like
In summary, yes I have no doubt that Social Signals do indeed help for SEO purposes. Just don’t forget the very reason the SEO world became a total disarray when Google Released their Panda & Penguin updates.
People cheated and manipulated the way links arrived at their websites. Oh dear! So many got upset… running home to mummy, crying.
But the ones that preached and practiced the Content Marketing game (no names mentioned) and told people to “take it easy” on acquiring links, well, those search engine listing just got gradually better. You know what they said in the olden days:
“The greedy Piglet is the first to the slaughter house”
Search Engine Optimisation just got a whole lot easier. Now, all we have to do is this: Create Great Content that People Like!
Who would have figured?
If you can spare a +1 signal for a humble blogger, Google Plus is just below