Today’s SEO expert should be aware of the power of social media and make an informed decision as to whether or not they should be incorporating it to their overall marketing strategy. Results from tests indicate that social media is growing in popularity. In certain cases it appears as if it is more powerful than traditional SEO.
The indication that social media marketing recommendations appear to be just as effective if not more so than traditional SEO are shown in Google+. Google creates social proof with sites that have a strong socially-oriented media network and ranks them very high. These were the results recently discovered by Rand Fishkin. They reinforced the answers provided by two reps from Google and Bing in an interview where they stated that the search engines look to see how many people one is following, how many people are following them and how many tweets are sent out on a regular basis.
They also look at the Everyone button on Facebook as well as links shared from Facebook fan pages. Socially-oriented media influences the search engines when results show that the search engines give preference to the number of times content is shared on these sites. The developments are recent but they indicate a growing trend in this direction.
Page and domain rankings for socially-oriented sites have been observed as having a powerful effect on search engine rankings by the SEOMOZ’s 2011 Search Engine Factors Ranking report by over 100 experts. Content sharing on Facebook fan pages influences search engine rankings according to Tampa SEO. The retweets on Twitter have resulted in increased traffic and rankings for keywords that never ranked on the first tweet.
Additional strategies that have been found to create more traffic results are commenting on blogs with relevant entries. The blog comment must pertain to the main idea of the blog post. Leaving messages on message boards also leaves a good impression on the search engines. Message boards similar to Yahoo Message Board have proven to be effective in driving traffic to the message board commenter’s site.
Claiming one’s address on Google local will help to bring in traffic. This is a free service that Google provides and allows businesses to list the details of their activity as well as their address, images, videos, a map and testimonials. Another suggestion is to write as a guest blogger. Guest blog posts bring in more traffic as well as provide opportunity for increased branding.
Leveraging You Tube offers one the opportunity to make a series of videos that help to brand the contributor’s product or service but also to link it to the blog or website. Some You Tube videos receive more than a million views in a year. More people are using You Tube as a search engine since people will click on a video and learn content more quickly than by text.
The SEO expert must keep up with the times and make a mental note of what the current social media test results are indicating. As stated by Matt Cutts in Pubcon 2010 the five main influencers will be mobile web, local search, social, blended results for the results in search engines and HTML5.