Are Social Media Shares Important For SEO?

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

Are Social Media Shares Important For SEO?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

Are Social Media Shares Important For SEO?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.



Image credit: worldbusiness,

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Rowan

    I can’t believe I’ve just come across this, as I’ve only just written a post about exactly the same thing. I’m a newbie and I totally agree. I’m driving good traffic to my blog purely through social media. Awesome!

    Thanks for sharing.

    PS. If you’re interested here’s a link to my article:

  2. Hi Rowan,

    I’m a first time reader / replyer !

    A very interesting and honest post. I agree with everything you say in relation to your own site and experiences.

    But its definitely not going to be the same effect as seen by everyone.

    If I may – I’d like to point out a few use case scenario’s that aren’t part of your current experience but they need to be seen in balance.

    You may get more from SoMe than from Google but not necessarily because you’re getting the most from Google. In a number of large stat publications recently – including our own and those of the Olympics – the vast majority of traffic – 60 – 80% – come from Google. SoMe is still less than 10%.

    No doubt that individual sites differ – e..g if nobody is searching for your product or you don’t rank for anything and have a larger social media base.

    Also, while Google has hinted (the sly devil) at reading Social Media links (most recently, about 2 years ago) – a lot of social media can’t be accessed due to privacy and walled gardens and bad link strategies – notably Facebook and LinkedIn but also from NoFollow (on most SoMe, including Blogs and comments and most forums – Web 1.0 SoMe).

    I think you might be jumping at some conclusions but its great to see small businesses winning, however they do it 🙂

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