The impact social media has on SEO has grown exponentially in recent years, and savvy executives should take advantage of it. The change to Google’s search algorithms recently made social media more important to maximizing Internet visibility. Social media “shares” increasingly affect search rankings. Through measurements of authority, social media has the capability to increase the authority of a website.
In SEO, authority refers to the relevance of the website content in comparison to competitors’ websites. Stronger content produces higher authority. Higher authority produces superior search rankings that lead to better visibility.
Understanding the factors that drive authority will give professionals a distinct edge over the competition. Since the launch of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, high quality and relevant content beats out old SEO tactics, such as doorway pages and hidden text. In short, SEO providers will need to tailor marketing efforts towards the end users, the customers, rather than the search engine itself. Content optimization becomes the paradigm, over search optimization.
SEO & Social Explained
So, how does social media fit into this new SEO environment? Content must attract and influence user engagement to be considered authoritative. Search engines increasingly count social shares as a measurement of that engagement. Generally, high quality content promotes sharing and discussion, and Googlebot takes into account the content and velocity of social shares when calculating rankings. In addition, search engines deem social media mentions as indicators that the content is authentic, authoritative, and engaging. This drives the rankings higher.
Maximizing linked content through tools such as the rel=”author” tag allows Google to track the content and ascribe the origin to one source. This alleviates the dilemma created from websites that scrape or syndicate content and take credit as being the primary source.
With the new content optimization environment, quality back-links matter more. Black Hat, keyword stuffing, doorway pages, and invisible text no longer produce the desired results. Instead, the SEO rewards organic backlink building such as the type of backlinks generated by content sharing on social media, reblogging, or on other sites like Pinterest.
In short, the future of SEO lies with social media. Users sharing relevant content with each other is the new way to create “buzz” and superior search rankings.
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