This post is in response to the many questions we have received as it relates to Social Signals and what it means for SEO, if one should do anything social related… or if it’s just a bunch of fluff!
You can see that Social Signals are of importance – Google Analytics includes social metrics now… if they are important enough for Google to report on, wouldn’t they be important enough for them to be used in their own ranking algorithms?
As search was first learning and integrating social into their algorithms, there was a time that simply the more likes, shares, followers and tweets that one had were a leading influencer in how you could rank however, their algorithms are more advanced today and they are using more precise indicators to help with getting quality metrics by which they can rank you on.
As search engines tweak & adjust their algorithms for search metrics, they are beginning to clean out the noise and spammyness… They are using factors like Edge Rank, Google+ and engagement as important factors to give lift to your posts and main Domain. For example – you get a better edge rank by being active, both giving and receiving social signals which does benefit you in your short term and long term rankings.
Ask yourself when building your social media strategies:
- Are you trying to make your site look more important to others so they feel better about your call to action to increase your conversions?
- What problem are you trying to solve, is it to increase your rankings in Organic Search or Social Search? More Social Traffic? Social Search Rankings?
In short what you want to achieve will dictate what strategy you employ for your website.
Here are some findings from our extensive testing:
- Social Signals from “shell” profiles are still kinda working, but this is a short term strategy in our opinion. Profiles without rich bio’s, engagement or fresh content will either get deleted or be discounted in their importance…
- Profiles that are “real” with social network engagement provide more lift to the links that these social signals contain (social backlinks). Giving and taking social signals increases your edge rank and realism.
- Category specific profiles (same niche/focus) are seemingly more effective in creating more authority that generic profiles.
- Google+, Facebook and Twitter retweets are currently the most effective in increasing your rankings for your social backlinks.
- Social Signals help increase your call to action conversion rates
- Social Networks provides a good source of organic traffic to your websites, they show visitors that your site is active, real and engaging.
Remember – Social Signals does not replace content marketing and backlink building (content backlinks rock!); however, it is a very important ingredient in your overall Backlink building strategy and should be used in conjunction with your content marketing efforts.
All members have unlimited access to the UAW Social Exchange – access is included with every UAW membership for no extra charge – collect and share social signals from real profiles to help increase your organic rankings.
When you log in to the UAW Social Exchange, you will now find a new updated “How To” PDF with easy to follow instructions on adding your social networks, sharing and some best practices to maximize your social signals!