Social networking activity is having a greater impact on search engine results – and this will become more pronounced as search engine algorithms continue to get more sophisticated in how they monitor and assess social networking activity.
The essence of social signals is the use of social networking activities to enhance the ability of search engines to return meaningful results to search queries.
Search takes into account varying social signals such as likes, followers, shares, tags, social ranking, commenting, etc.
At the present time it is unclear how much impact social signals have on search; but there is evidence they do have some effect.
An excerpt from an article in Inc. Magazine explains why social search must be considered within an online marketing strategy:
“These days, two frequently asked questions are, ‘How does all of this social media content and sharing impact my search engine rankings?’ and ‘Do my social network status updates in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help these rankings?”
The short answer is, yes, your social activity does have an impact on search results – and more to the point, so does your company’s activity.
The integration of social signals into search hints at the future of traditional search engine optimization. You have to move beyond your website content and structure, and communicate effectively with your target audience using social tools, interactions, and conversations.
Those of you engaging in tweeting and posting on Facebook need to keep in mind that more and more of your social activities are going to be taken into account by search engines.
Therefore, being more deliberate and thoughtful about what you’re sharing and how you’re interacting with others on social media is important not only for search, but also for:
– Building your brand
– Generating inbound leads
– Increasing conversion rates (social media generates liking and trust)
– Getting referrals and recommendations
– Improving customer service and retention
– Connecting with influencers in your industry
– Expanding your reach and gaining access to new markets
– Conducting research and better understanding your target markets
The overriding message is to use social media strategically; don’t just approach it haphazardly. If you are going to invest the time to engage in social networking, make sure you understand how it will positively impact your business development efforts.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. Core helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing, and executing online marketing strategies that drive revenue growth. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected].