How Important is Social MediaThere is some confusion as to how important social media is to SEO, even among the top social media marketing companies. This is due in part, to how little information that companies like Google and Bing divulge to the marketing community, as well as conflicting statements that they sometimes make. For many years, social media marketing experts believed that Google considered “Likes” and other social media signals in SEO ranking, but recently the world’s largest search engine revealed it actually doesn’t. However, studies do show that more liked pages do rank higher, suggesting that user responses may influence search engines in similar ways. While these kinds of issues can confuse some social media professionals, there is little doubt that social media is pivotal to a successful SEO strategy. A larger, more active presence on major social networks does produce a higher ranking, but it often takes a seasoned, talented social media marketing expert to design a strategy for achieving it.
Social Media Does Influence RankingWhile many of the aspects of social media like Liking or following do not directly influence ranking, they do affect it in more roundabout ways. For example, pages that are often Liked are more likely to be shared or linked to other sites. This greater visibility online has a marked influence on search engine algorithms. At the heart of the matter, content that is more appealing will find a higher place on results pages. Another factor in determining your SEO ranking is how long users stay on your social media pages or related sites. Social media marketing consultants call greater engagement with a user a “long click.” The longer a visitor stays on a page, the more favorably Google ranks that page. So, if a user visits your Google+ page and follows a link back to your company website, and they peruse the landing page at length as well as clicking on other pages on your site, the higher the search engine algorithm will rank your home website. Search engines do this is in order to reward websites that offer more value like relevant information to the visitor.