Do Social Media Signals Help You Rank Better on the SERP?

One of the most debated topics in SEO is whether social media signals help your website rank better on the search engine results page. In 2010 Google released a video that clearly confirmed they used links from Twitter and Facebook as ranking signals:

In 2014, Matt Cutts of Google released another video stating that Google treats pages from Facebook and Twitter like any other webpage, if they are able to crawl it. However, Cutts goes on to say that there are no signals in Googles’ ranking algorithms for things such as followers on Twitter or likes on Facebook.

Then in 2016, Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, tweeted in regard to the video, “The short version is, no, we don’t”. Although Google says that social media signals are not a ranking factor, the data from Searchmetrics’ 2016 Rebooting Ranking Factors White Paper, says otherwise:

“The correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high, and the number of social signals per landing page has remained constant when compared with the values from last year’s whitepaper. This is true of all social networks analyzed.”

Although social media signals might not be a direct ranking factor for Google, there is a strong correlation between social media and SEO.

How it helps:

  • Backlinks – High quality content that is shared is more likely to be seen by more people who will link to it. Backlinks are one of Googles most important ranking signals.
  • Builds Audience – With worldwide reach, it’s easy to build your web presence and your audience on social media. Facebook alone has nearly 2 billion users.
  • Promotion – YouTube is also a great platform to boost your SEO, as it is the world’s second most used search engine. Videos can lead to links and they can also come up in organic search results.

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