Why Facebook & Other Social Media Sites are Important to SEO…Sort of

By Tad Miller | Mar 31, 2010
More Articles by Tad

As an SEO agency, we are very focused on getting our client’s URLs ranked on the first page of natural search results.  Even with personalized search altering individual search results, we believe that a top 10 ranking is pretty much always going to be a top ten ranking even with personalization sometimes changing the order of that top ten.

The reality is that when clients engage us for SEO they really translate high natural search engine rankings into more TRAFFIC and from that traffic more sales.

But the point of this post is that clients essentially want more traffic to their website and the traffic to that website doesn’t necessarily have to come from search engine results pages for the clients URL.  Case in point, we have gotten a lot of traffic from my blog post “Why Your Company Needs a Google Profile” but if you actually do a Google search on that exact article name, in quotes you won’t even find the original post in the number one spot.  Their are 28 links on other websites pointing to that article, most of which use the article title as the anchortext.  So why isn’t it the number one search result?

The short answer to that question is “it’s complicated” but the real answer is “Who Cares!”  All of the results have my blog post as the eventual end result!  The same could potentially be true for your keywords or content.

The most recent announcement to impact this that Facebook Fan Page listings can now show up in Google results.  I’m actually getting two Facebook results showing up for my blog posts title: One for the United Kingdom and one for US Facebook pages.  The UK version of the Search Mojo Facebook Fan Page actually out ranks the original blog post URL.

It’s also significant to me that my individual Google Profile is the number one result for the Blog post title. The reason that my Google Profile, my companies Facebook Fan Pages, and Social Book Marking websites rank so strongly is that they all have Domain Authority through the roof! Search Engines absolutely give domain authority weight in ranking algorithms.  People trust these sites, spend all of their online time on them and share links they care about on them.  They are trusted and accepted on a massive scale.  Don’t misunderstand that our blog isn’t trusted and respected, its just that comparing us to Facebook is like comparing an ant to a skyscraper in terms of scale and participation. It’s the same reason search engines give Wikipedia the benefit of the doubt and a number one rank for almost every keyword under the sun.

The reality is, you want your content seen and read.  Using Social Media websites is a method for getting your content read and shared, but they can also be a means of getting valuable anchortext links to boost your search engine rankings.  You need to participate in Social Media for both SEO and for engaging your followers and customers.

So while I do think its wrong that search engines don’t give the site that originated and authored the content the top search ranking, and it isn’t exactly in your interest to have your Facebook fan pages and Google Profile results out ranking your website as an SEO, the reality is you are meeting the SEO clients goals of getting traffic, engagement, links and hopefully sales.  So do both and benefit from both.

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