The quality of your search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to the success of your website or business. It can make or break you, and, so, naturally, you want to do anything you can to improve it—but does your social media presence help your SEO? According to Google, it is not part of what influences your ranking. However, there are still many reasons that it can be significant.
Do Social Media Links Count as a Backlink?
We have all heard about the importance of backlinks when it comes to ranking in search engines. They are thought to legitimize a website, and the bigger an authority you are, the more likely you are to rank.
Still, links from Facebook or Twitter do not count as a backlink, despite the fact that they might appear in Google Webmaster Tools. Generally, social media links are referred to as ‘’no follow” links— meaning they have no direct influence on ranking. Still, this isn’t always true as we will discuss later.
Social Media Itself Can Rank
Sharing posts might not have the influence that we all might wish it did, but your social media page itself can rank in search engines. For a lot of companies, their social media profiles are featured on the first page of Google when you type their name. For example, typing BBC into Google brings up their Twitter and YouTube channel on the first page. This would lead you to think that a social media presence is essential to SEO, at least for people looking for company information. Active social media profiles enhance brand trust which is more likely to result in clicks.
Social Media Can Help With SEO
Despite the above, there are other ways that social media can help with SEO. Posts that are popular on social media can help you to recognize the sort of content that gets a lot of readers and interaction. From here you can look for keywords related to these posts. So, in a way, social media can help you to plan future posts.
Also, by getting more hits to your site, it can improve your ranking in other ways. If people are finding you via social media, they may stay on your site for a while. This is good for ranking as it shows search engines that your site is interesting.
Anything that can reduce your bounce rate is going to improve your overall chances of ranking. The better your content is, the more likely someone is to click on different pages, this is good news for your SEO. Therefore, the more appealing your social media link is, the better, although it doesn’t directly influence SEO.
Social Media Gets You Engagement
This is something valuable that SEO alone doesn’t often give you. A social media link might not get you any extra leverage in terms of ranking, but engagement actually can. If you can interact with potential customers and invest the time to go back and forth with them on a topic, then they are more likely to revisit your site.
Also, you never know when engagement on social media might lead to a quality backlink. You might think you are just chatting to someone on social media, but you are networking and building relationships. Interacting like this on social media is often far more successful than emailing for backlinks without any prior introduction.
Bing, Social Media, and SEO
Since Bing accounts for almost a quarter of searches in the US, it is not to be dismissed. This is good news for anyone looking to increase their SEO ranking through social media. Bing takes social media shares into account when ranking sites. So, there is still a viable reason for you to improve your social media presence and optimize your posts for social media.
This is one of the reasons you should make sure you are conveying a consistent brand message. Make sure your social media uses similar images and that you are creating an exciting and informative page that will bring people in.
Bing also takes into consideration the authority of your social media profiles themselves. This means they look at how many followers you have— taking your social media strategy a little more seriously might yield better results than you think.
Even if the initial link through to your site doesn’t count towards ranking, your social media presence will be the first place that many people discover your brand. If they like it, they could be loyal customers for life, clicking and reading through your future posts and improving your SEO.
Google Changes All the Time
It is important to remember that search engines often change their algorithms. This means that although Google does not take social media links into account for SEO now, it might not always be this way. The same could be said for Bing’s acceptance of social media for SEO.
Right now, backlinks are the hot topic in terms of increasing SEO, but this wasn’t always the case. Also, they aren’t exactly the most reliable way of determining whether a site should rank.
Sharing on social media is easy to do and doesn’t take up much time once the original content has been created. This is why it is never a bad idea to make sure you are still sharing your posts via your social media channels.
You also want to make it simple for users to share your content. The bigger brands will get a lot of interaction this way which improves brand trust and gives an overall impression of a quality company.
In Conclusion: Does Your Social Media Presence Help SEO?
So, there isn’t exactly a simple answer. Social media does directly help SEO when it comes to Bing, but not directly for Google. Either way, there are simple ways that using social media can help your SEO, and it remains an important strategy that should not be ignored.