Social Media and Search Engines
When you go in search of something online, where’s the first place you go? Unless you already have a URL in mind, you’re probably going to go to a search engine — and the search engine most commonly used is Google.
A Google Page Rank score is given to every single web page online. Google goes through and looks at the entire content of the site to determine where in its ranking it wants to place a particular site. Google isn’t the only one — every single search engine operates this way. But how is the ranking determined?
Obviously, with the millions of websites out there, there isn’t a team of humans working through each site — if that were the case, nothing would ever be current. Like all other search engines, Google uses an algorithm to look at keywords, back links, traffic and content, as well as basic layout structure (especially for landing pages) — too many redirects and advertising spaces automatically signal a spam site and doesn’t rank on Google — at least not on any main ranking page.
Most of this is achieved by clever SEO tactics, which can be utilized either on your own or through an SEO expert. However, Social Media can also affect Google rankings, because one of the other factors that Google uses in its algorithm is pretty obvious — popularity and demand.
Social Networks, such as Twitter, are microblogs in nature. They chronicle the posts and interactions between an account and other accounts. Each microblog post contains content — each needing to be indexed by Google. Increasing the visibility of your company, your blog, your product via Social Media will inevitably also increase your search engine ranking — if done correctly and as part of a larger marketing plan.
And what about Yahoo? Recent articles have pointed out that Yahoo searches are becoming increasingly popular. Yahoo and Google rank their pages differently, use different links to different directories and so results are going to be different. Whereas Google puts a lot of weight on a site with a lot of traffic and people/sites linking to it, Yahoo is more content driven and calculates its rankings based on relevant content (keywords, for example). Yahoo also penalizes for spammy keyword use (such as on many affiliate blog sites that have little content but a lot of keyword use and links to the paysites). However, social media and its microblogging platform can also help in rankings on Yahoo much like it does on Google.
I know it sounds simple. It can be — if you can create your own marketing strategy and know what keywords you want to be ranked for. If not, there are consultants that can provide strategies as well as handle your Social Media Marketing for you, in the industry that you are specifically targeting. In either case, ignoring Social Media as a viable part of an overall SEO strategy can backfire — so start now if you haven’t already.