Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in directing traffic and leads to a company’s website. However, SEO is a difficult thing to understand, and it’s even more difficult to predict rankings.
Google uses more than 150 signals to determine rankings. They also use a formula that changes constantly to keep you from figuring out their system. They also add in random variables to make it even more difficult to crack.
But over the past year or so, more SEO experts, social media gurus and bloggers have been saying, “Social media signals affect SEO rankings.”
Well that’s not really true.
Yes, Google uses social media signals, but let’s be honest – Google will not allow/rely on data from Facebook and Twitter to heavily influence their rankings. In fact, at SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts, Google Distinguished Engineer, stated that Facebook has absolutely no direct effect on Google search rankings.
What is true?
Having a strong social media following can help increase the number of backlinks to your website, which can increase rankings.
Essentially, having a large social media following allows your content to get in front of more people and shared, thus increasing the chance of your content getting more links.
The more you engage with your followers, the more likely they will be to share your content.
On the flip side…
Having good rankings can lead to more visitors finding your website naturally, and thus giving the website more opportunities to convert existing traffic into social media followers.
Even though SEO and social media have no direct effects on one another, the indirect relationship between the two can compound into an online marketing nirvana where each one helps out the other and creates something bigger and more powerful than they could on their own.