In 2010 Google’s Matt Cutts boldly stated that your social media activity plays an important role in your business’ search engine position. Fast-forward four years, and Cutts retracted those claims, saying that businesses with strong SEO rankings are a result of ‘awesome content’ rather than social signals.
Since the statement at the beginning of 2014, marketers have been scratching their heads as they continue to come up with effective ways of boosting their SEO, despite Cutts’ claims. Over the last two years, many digital marketers have refuted Cutt’s point, claiming that they have seen a direct correlation between their social media activity and the position of their business on all of the major search engines.
With Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest all offering link sharing abilities, effective social media strategies are now driving more clicks to websites than ever before. Simply having a social media profile will not directly affect your ranking, however, effective content that is driving people to your website will take affect. Despite Google’s ever changing algorithms, click through rates cannot be ignored, as website traffic will always see your site rewarded
So, if social media does not affect your SEO, why are businesses seeing correlation between strong social strategies and their ranking?
Over the years Google have become entangled with their famous phrase ‘content is king’, as they consistently argue that your SEO ranking is decided on the basis of strong, ever changing content with relevant key wording.
While content is king when it comes to optimizing your search engine results, it is just as relevant for social media. Social media is the most instant form of media, and content has an extremely short shelf life, so every changing content is essential.
With content having a short life on social media, digital marketers are being forced to update their website’s regularly with original content that can be shared on social media. This kind of content often consists of blogs and industry news, and will contain plenty of keywords that will have a major impact on the business SEO.
Search engine optimization is built around content, and with Facebook revealing that between 5.5% and 11.2% of profiles being fake or duplicates (Stats via Search Engine Journal), it is no surprise that simply having a social media account does not affect your search engine ranking. Many of these accounts will be inactive and stale, void of content for years on end and often doing more damage than good for a business.
Like websites, many of these social media accounts would have been carefully designed with key wording and carefully selected imagery before they went stale, and this is where Cutts’ claims take shape.
Social media accounts will not affect your ranking position from their design and set up, but marketers will see results from effective social strategies, as the ever changing content drives more people to their website, and sticks to Google’s ‘content is king’ mantra.