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The Impact of Social Media

Have you ever considered the impact of social media when it comes to search engine optimization and marketing your website? You might think that Pinterest is just for recipes and Instagram is just for selfies, but making strategic use of these and other social media platforms can actually give your business a boost in Google’s coveted page rankings.

According to various studies such as the SearchMetrics’ Rank Correlation for 2013, search engines consider social media signals when ranking a webpage. You should realize, however, that social media doesn’t directly influence SEO. Namely, the links that you share on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may promote your brand’s visibility online, but they are not used by Google as a ranking factor.

In this article, we explore four ways social media can help you rank better in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Click here to get your full, in-depth report displaying critical data on how your site performs, how it is impacting you and your business as well as what you can do about it.

1. Social media channels are search engines.

Today, people don’t only go to Google and Bing to search for things online; they also use social media platforms to look for whatever they want. That means SEO includes the searching that occurs on social media search engines.

The most popular platforms each offer different opportunities for you to take advantage of. Here are a few examples:

  • If you are active on Twitter, there’s a high chance that people will discover your new content distribution app after they’ve searched for tweets related to marketing using Twitter’s search engine.
  • If you market your brand using visual content, you can benefit from making your content visible in Instagram and Pinterest by using hashtags and categorizing your pins properly.
  • If someone wants to evaluate your company, they may go to Facebook and Twitter and do a quick search to see what kind of influence you have on each channel.

Therefore, it is imperative that you expand your concept of search engine optimization to include not only the traditional search engines but also social media search engines.

When searching for a brand on social media, it’s common to see a number of different profiles pop up for the same name or keywords. This can make it difficult to figure out which one is the legit profile. Be sure to make it easy for users to identify your official social profiles.

2. Social media helps build authority.

A website’s authority is one of the critical factors that search engines consider when ranking web pages. If your domain or webpage has high value, search engines consider it to have high authority. Hence, it stands a better chance to rank higher in the SERPs than sites with weaker authority.

You should realize, however, that a site’s or webpage’s authority doesn’t grow overnight. It takes time. Your authority grows steadily as you keep publishing high-quality, valuable content and gain more relevant backlinks.

Speaking of backlinks, social media plays an integral role in link building. Namely, most content on the internet is distributed through social media. This makes social media the largest content distribution channel.

That means your influence on social media networks has a direct impact on the degree of your website’s authority. Therefore, you need to focus on building a tribe of engaged social media followers. This will give your content more relevant audience. The more relevant audience you have, the more authority you gain.

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3. Social media profiles rank in search engines.

Social engagement metrics, such as the number of likes and shares, may or may not affect your web page's position in the SERPs. But your social profiles certainly affect the content of your search results.

Social media profiles are usually at the top of the search engine results pages for brand names. Moreover, social channels normally feel more personable than web pages. They are an excellent way to get a sense of a company’s personality at a glance.

When researching a business they don’t know much about, potential customers are likely to go straight to that business’ Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page. So if your social profile appears at the top of the search results, they are just as likely to click on it as they would on your website.

It suffices to say, therefore, that your social profiles matter a lot to search engines, as well as people who are searching for you online. A couple of active social media accounts can make the effort of building your brand’s online presence more exciting, engaging, and personal.

Furthermore, you might consider Google+ an unnecessary social platform, but you shouldn’t disregard the fact that a company’s Google+ profile is amongst the first things a search engine user will and probably click on. That means you can gain a lot from having a Google+ profile with up-to-date information and valuable content.

4. Social media helps promote your content.

Another great way that social media can help your SEO is through content promotion. You might produce loads of valuable, engaging, keyword-optimized content, but still not many people will get to consume it if it isn’t properly promoted. With social media, you get the opportunity to take the content you’ve put so much effort into producing and promote it on several different channels.

In fact, nothing beats social media when it comes to the effectiveness and efficiency of pushing out your SEO-based content. The inbound links from your social shares may not have the same impact as links from high-quality websites, but they can help improve your bounce rate and time-on-site engagement.

If you provide great content that keeps people on your site, those engagement metrics make your site look valuable in the eyes of search engines. Therefore, you should consider converting your best organic content into social media content. This will promote engagement and drive traffic back to your website.


Ask any SEO savvy marketer, and they will tell that social media marketing and search engine optimization are critically intertwined. Contrary to common belief, SEO and social media are not separate entities. Social media can help your search engine ranking in many ways, the most important of which have been outlined in this article.

Therefore, if you are serious about your position in the SERPs, you should do your best to have both social media and SEO working hand-in-hand as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Page Cherry
Page Cherry is co owner and Social Media Manager of Visibly Connected. She is active in our community and loves to network with other business owners.
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