One of the most common questions we get asked by clients is: “Should I be doing social media” or “Should we be active on social media we have heard its important”. Although social media promotions is great for business and online marketing generally, there is ZERO impact on the amount of social signals your site receives and where it ranks on GOOGLE. ZERO Direct impact!
Okay, so I bet 90% of the people reading this are now either a.) confused, b.) angry or c.) Think I’m a liar. But here is the truth: Although social signals and active social media profiles are good for branding and growing your follower base. The fact is these can easily still be manipulated. You can still just go to any website and buy twitter followers (here for example) and you can just buy sponsored tweets or re tweets as well. So if social signals were a big ranking factor I’d go out to these sites buy a few thousand followers and a few million re-tweets and rank 1st for anything, luckily that’s not how it works and it NEVER WILL, because of 1 huge reason: Google does not own it. Google is a power crazy, profit driven machine. If you’ve ever tried to contact Google to get an answer for something, you will know its about as useful as throwing a rock at a gorilla. Google cares about 1 thing and that’s profit. Where does 90% of Google’s revenues come from? You guessed it – ADS! This is why the algorithm changes, this is why maps results changed and this is why Google support sucks….Unless you contact adwords support which is weirdly extremely helpful….. Adding up now?
If you’re still with me, this is the reason why Google and the representatives always play down the importance of the factors that actually work and constantly say “be active on social” and “create great content” and you’ll rank…. Unfortunately that’s pretty much the same as “build it and they will come.” Will they come? Sure they might, but do you want to wait years for it to happen….Of course not.
Anyway, that was a big tangent, but the moral of the story is to take everything Google says with a pinch of salt, they want people to be over-cautious rather than adventurous. But back to the social media accounts / signals discussion. These have zero direct impact on rankings. I say direct as they do play a big role in in-direct rankings. For example if you post a piece of content on a social network and it gains traction and gets 10-20 re-tweets and then a blogger goes on to post a link back to that piece of content, then you have just earnt a backlink. BUT the SEO value has come from the the backlink and not your business posting on its social media accounts.
Another important aspect to remember is that social media accounts act as “trust factors” to Google. For example if a website has active social media accounts that all link back to their website its a tick in the box of “trust rank” and this is something that needs to be ticked to rank (in most cases) BUT again these can easily be manipulated and you will NEVER EVER rank with only social links.
So this turned a bit ranty but this is a statement I and everyone who knows what works in the SEO industry will tell you: “I’d rather have a backlink, than a re-tweet.” Live by this motto and you will be alright.
Thanks for reading.
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