DMF 2011 | Getting Ranked: Your Social Presence & Its Impact on SEO

By Amanda Sides | Feb 3, 2011
More Articles by Amanda

After a deliciously interesting lunch roundtable session, we are back in presentation-mode.  Our own Janet Driscoll Miller is presenting on your social presence and its impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Here are 6 ways your social media efforts impact SEO:

1 Social Media Profiles Rank Well Naturally

It is typical that social media profiles tend to rank well.  By establishing your social profiles across a few social platforms, you can protect your brand on the first page of search engine results. This will help you own that first page of results, which will simultaneously help keep bad press out of the top ten.

Even if you can’t devote the time to constantly update your social profiles, at least go out there and reserve those profiles.  It is difficult to get your brand handle back after someone else grabs it.

Another thing to keep in mind regarding your company’s social profiles is that you should build your corporate brand via one profile, and build your personal brand via another, separate profile.

2 Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)

Google’s goal is to display the most relevant results possible for a query.  To compete with social profiles, Google developed Query Deserves Freshness (QDF).  QDF is part of Google’s algorithm and has been around since 2007.   QDF finds results that are extremely relevant and timely. What it does is help determine what kinds of topics are considered “hot” at the moment, and these types of blog post results can outrank more established and static content. The example Janet references is a writer who blogged about the Home Run Derby; his blog temporarily outranked the Major League Baseball official page about the Home Run Derby.  These results are typically pretty short-lived, but you should take advantage of them when you can.

A tool that you can use to find out long term trends for certain keywords, and base your content off of these trends is Google Insights for Search.  When you see a spike in traffic, immediately go out and write a blog post surrounding that content.

Three things you’ll want to monitor when looking at Google Insights for Search data:

  1. SEO focus keywords
  2. Brand names
  3. Competitor names

When you see spikes in traffic for these focus areas, get writing.

3 Identify Potential Inbound Links

One thing you should invest some time in is monitor articles that mention you.  Some great tools to utilize are Trackur and Radian6.  Once you find an article you have been mentioned in, maybe try to reach out with a simple email asking for anchor text including a keyword you want to rank for.

4 Social Media Sharing is new link popularity

In the past, Google bombing got you ranked highly in Google. Today, Twitter and Facebook are counting as inbound links.  Google is actually pulling the title tag from the page that the update links as the anchor text.  Even though some of these links are said to be nofollow, Google is definitely using them to influence ranking results.

5 Social Ranking Signals

The page rank of your Twitter profile page influences how a page ranks in web search. This essentially makes tweeting a PR effort… you want  to get users with authority and a lot of influence retweeting you.

A good way to find authoritative people is to download the Google toolbar, activate the page rank feature, and when logged out of your Twitter account, check out the page rank of that person’s profile page.

6 Other Opportunities: Increase Your Social Circle

If you perform a search while logged into your Google account, there will be a section of the SERP with social results from people inyour social circle.  Google defines your social circle through your Google profile.  Google can connect the dots with people you are connected with via your other social profiles.  Moral of the story: add all of your social profile links within your Google profile.

To help expand your social circle, get fans on Facebook, gain followers on Twitter and Google Reader and Google Buzz.  All of these people will be interconnected, increasing your overall social circle.

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