Lately there has been a lot of discussion around social media and it’s influence on search engine rankings. Much of the chatter is around recent changes made at Google and the attention being paid to social “signals” picked up by search engines. To me, this makes a lot of sense. If you have a high ranking website for a group of competitive keywords, then your site should also have some general buzz around your products and services. If you have great content/products and people are sharing it through their social profiles, then it would make sense that “social karma” should have an impact on rankings.
It’s likely signals and influential social profiles will become a greater part of search engine algorithms. Since so many other aspects of SEO are easier to influence such as links and on page optimization, search engines may have no other choice but to rely on “word of mouth” in the form of social signals.
What to Do?
Does this mean that marketers should run out and create a ton of social profiles and point signals back to their website? This tactic will likely have little value since much of the value lies in the most influential social profiles in each niche.
Say you have a twitter account focused on sports and your profile has been live for over a year, posting relevant links and sharing tips. That profile has developed moderate influence for the sporting goods niche. Each link shared or brand mention is now a “signal” to search engines. These signals are collected and given some weight in determining rankings.
What type of influence have you seen from social profiles on your online marketing efforts? Do you measure and track social traffic along with your keyword rankings?