Are Social Media Shares Important For SEO?
An examination of whether Google really pays much attention to the amount of times a site gets shared on sites like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and of course Google Plus.
People have been talking in recent months, (or recent years) about the massive changes in the state of SEO.
Google is systematically trying to punish sites who use spam techniques such as syndicated article directory submission, spam blog comments, mass directory submissions, mass social bookmarking submissions etc, and reward sites who have a link profile of high quality pages.
The only back links which count anymore are those which appear natural to Google, and look as they would if a person was building links to their site themselves through the normal channels, and also getting people linking to the site because it was worth sharing.
The sort of links which offer real value are original articles written on sites with some sort of moderation of what gets published, such as eHow, Yahoo Voices, Ezine, etc, guest posts, and social media.
The key to this is that it is not a formula that you can put your finger on. The whole idea is that Google seem to be changing the formula, so as to get people to focus on quality, and not so much on quantity.
It’s only by creating links as though Google was looking over your shoulder that you can expect that it will help your rankings.
My personal strategy is just to keep writing blog posts on my site, and write the occasional guest post or article, but for the most part just share it in a natural but aggressive way on multiple social media accounts.
Is this strategy working for me, and do I even really care anymore about Google rankings for small searches with a few hundred exact match searches worldwide per month?
My Personal Results From Social Media
My site is doing well, and I only use social media and the odd article or social bookmarking back link to make links to most of my new blog posts.
I spent a lot of time when I first set up the site making back links to the home page and important pages, but I found that the only thing I could really be certain of was that I ranked better the more I wrote on the site.
A link from a site like Facebook, Twitter or You Tube is no follow, but that is part of the natural link profile that Google is looking for to determine that it is a good site.
Page rank has nothing to do with it anymore, and it’s not really about anything else but giving Google the signals that you did things in a white hat way, and that people responded by sharing your site with their friends and writing about it, because it was good.
Google themselves say that they are paying more attention to social media signals, and even punishing sites who use social bookmarking, blog commenting, forum signatures, directory links, profile links, spam syndicated articles etc in an unnatural looking way.
A site that actually is good and popular will have lots of shares on social media, especially by high authority social media profiles.
The key is not to stop link building, but to do the things that they would expect you to have to do, and to imitate the things they would expect others to do, if other people were linking to you because they liked your site.
Social sharing is not just an important part of SEO, it’s actually the way I get most of my traffic on a daily basis.
It took me almost a year to build up a steady hundred views a day from Google, but I can get double or triple that on any particular day in a few hours by tweeting a lot.
To be honest, the searches I am trying to rank for do not produce enough traffic for me to spend too much time on ranking for them, so I don’t spend a lot of my time making back links, even though I probably should.
The way people used to make back links is not working anymore, and I haven’t got the patience to stay up to date with all the new changes.
I spend my time mostly adding to my list of social connections, with my most successful traffic source being my Twitter followers, and writing on my site, when I’m not filling orders.
For those who still have the mindset of making a dozen back links every day from directories, social bookmarking sites, blog comments, etc, I don’t think you are really spending your time as effectively as you could be, not anymore.