With Bing and Facebook both blurring the lines between social media and search from opposite ends, now is as good a time as any to discuss the social media platforms that are most useful for improving your search rankings, and why.
Image by Khalid Albaih
There’s nothing wrong with using these social media platforms to boost your rankings – Google is just using them as a good way to gauge popularity. As long as you’re not creating fake accounts, this is about as white hat as SEO gets.
This isn’t about spamming social media with links and likes for gains, these are just the networks where, if your content becomes popular, it will help your site in the search engine ranking positions.
5. Google Plus
Google Plus definitely helps your site rank higher in Google in some, unpredictable, situations. Where it is less useful is that it’s only your friends and followers who see the site you “+1′ed” get higher in the search engine ranking positions, or SERPs.
This means that if you’re trying to reach new audiences through search, or if you’re trying to reach ordinary consumers as a business, you’re not likely to succeed through using Google Plus.
The best way to use this is like a mini-blogging platform. Write about a hundred words on the content of the page you’re promoting, make them interesting and thoughtful, share the result, and the post will become more visible.
The effects of using StumbleUpon on SEO are not particularly well-known, but what is certain is that a stumbled page with multiple reviews is indexed by Google.
This means that Google is aware of the number of reviews your page has received on StumbleUpon, the amount of detail they go into, and the number of likes as well.
It only makes sense to assume that they use this information in some way to determine your site’s popularity and legitimacy – and my own experience tends to back this up, although I am wary of linking correlation and causation.
3. Meme-sharing Sites
If you can include a meme in your blog post, creating a funny one can reap dividends. Meme-sharing sites offer links back to your page in various forms, from image links to nofollowed links to followed links.
Meme-sharing sites will not increase your standing for any particular keyword, but a diverse range of them will improve the diversity and strength of your link profile, which can yield rewards when dealing with long-tail search.
Pinterest links have been nofollowed for a while now, but they’re still handy for building up a substantial link profile from trustworthy sources.
Since it’s not that easy to create a fake or novelty Pinterest account, creating and maintaining a social presence there is key to ensuring your pins spread far and wide. People are much more likely to respond well to you if you’re actively liking and re-pinning their own images, so spending a little time building good will can go a long way.
Tumblr is incredible for building great snowballing mounds of links that can turn a good, well-respected site into a good, top-ranking site if used properly.
It’s not a miracle worker, and it can be tough to get off the ground in your own niche. However, stick to it and you should start seeing the benefits.
The great thing about Tumblr is that the more you put into it, the more you will get out – guaranteed. A cool picture beats a link, which is beaten by a cool picture plus an interesting or inspiring explanation, which is beaten by a well-tagged cool picture plus interesting explanation…there is a lot you can do to customise and optimise each post.
Why Social Media For SEO?
Social media is best used as, well, social media.
I only recommend using social media for SEO if you could also benefit from its social aspects directly, as the SEO aspect is a bonus that should be added onto an existing campaign, not the point of the whole campaign.
By the same token, it’s not a substitute for a properly-run on-site and off-site SEO campaign. Companies like Strategy Internet Marketing do offer social packages now, but they also offer traditional SEO and pay on results CRO packages.
It can prove to be a very handy addition, though, especially if one aspect of the campaign goes viral.