Yesterday, the folks at SEOMoz released a study that shows a correlation between the amount of action your website gets on Facebook (shares), Twitter (tweets), and Google Buzz (shares) and how websites in the top 30 search results rank on Google’s SERP (search engine results page). There has been plenty of debate about how influential traffic and links from social networks are in Google’s algorithm. No matter what your thoughts are on the matter, the data is hard to ignore.
SEOMoz’s findings are based on correlations and are not necessarily causal. However, if there is a causal relationship then it suggests that links shared on Facebook have high impact on SERP rankings while numbers of tweets on Twitter, Facebook Likes, and Facebook comments don’t hold as much weight.
(Graph from SEOMoz's study on Facebook + Twitter's Influence on Google's Search Rankings )
Is this true? No one knows. However, it makes complete sense that Google would put shared links ahead of any other social networking factors used in their algorithm. After all, when it comes to ranking on the search engines we know that Google, and all other engines for that matter, give more authority to websites with more inbound links.
Marketing TakeawaySimply put, if you can increase your reach on Facebook via spreading links to your content, not only will you drive more website traffic, but every time a link to your website is shared it will increase the chances of your content ranking higher on Google for relevant search queries.
Now, I don’t recommend obsessing about increasing Facebook shares for every piece of content you generate, but there are certainly some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of your content being shared across all major social networks.
Here are a few steps you can stake to easily increase your reach, spread your content across social media, and gain more authority on Google as a result
1. Add Sharing Functionality to Content Pages – If it’s not easy to share, then no one will share it.
2. Blog Often and With a Purpose – Blogging will help you stay current, keep your content fresh, and have a more casual conversation with your website’s visitors. Plus, we've been providing data for years that shows blog post frequency has a direct correlation with customer acquisition.
101 Marketing Charts Report
3. Increase Your Social Presence – Create your own group or fan page and invite your connections, fans, friends, and followers to join. This will allow you to publish your content to one place and allow people to start conversations and spread your content more easily. For more info on groups and pages see our Facebook Page Marketing Guide .
4. Be Crafty with Content – Pay attention to blog post titles and topics. Monitor conversations of your fans, followers, industry keywords, and your competitors for ideas on what to write about. The more current and provocative your content, the better the chances that someone will read and want to share with others .
What do you think about the impact of social media on a website's ability to rank on the search engines?