Live from #SMX East: Facebook, Twitter & SEO

By Sarah Lokitis | Sep 14, 2011
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Good morning (now early afternoon due to wifi connection) SMX East Day 2. I started off my morning with Eli Pariser’s keynote and questions with Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman. It was a great dive into personalization of search and how the information we receive is biased to what we have seen in the past. Should Google be a utility with regulations?

Next up is “Facebook, Twitter & SEO” with John DohertyMichael GrayHorst Joepen and Jim Yu moderated by Danny Sullivan. This session aims to discuss how social signals from Facebook and Twitter are used in search and how they can factor into “regular” search results. Who you are socially, your authority, the authority of those who talk about you (or your company) all play a role. I’m interested to see how Twitter plays a role since the Twitter fire hose was taken off Google.

Danny Sullivan: Social, when it first started out, was not that important – it was just fun. But now it’s so important and integrated to search – you can’t do SEO without Social. These signals are constantly changing, however the more social you are – the more it will help you out on the search side as well.

Up first is… Horst Joepen from SearchMetrics

The higher a page ranks for a certain keyword, the more likely that page had a ‘share’ or ‘like’.

Social media visibility – # of social media shares, tweets, comments, likes…

Organic search visibility – Reciprocal keyword ranking multiplied by search volume of each keyword.

Overall, people seem to be more comfortable with sharing on Facebook and Twitter than +1. Will that be something that changes soon?

Jim Yu, BrightEdge

SEO is Social.

Evolution of internet marketing:

  1. Broadcast – pages and banners.
  2. User Targeted – search helps focus in on user intent
  3. User Driven – users are providing input through social signals

With 1 billion users on Google, 750 million on Facebook and 250 million on Twitter users are in control and customers are there to connect with you.

Measure your Social SEO

  • Do you have the social presences?
  • Is useful content being posted?
  • Are your social media pages ranking in the search engines?
  • Are you doing SEO for your social pages?

Add Social Buttons and Connect

  • Increase in traffic with social plugins to homepage and deep pages within your site.
  • Link social pages to your homepage with brand name: “Find your <brand name> on Facebook”
  • Use brand name in wall posts and tweets and push for engagement through likes and shares.
  • Connect your Brands existing pages within social. Examples: if you have several stores within your main store you can interlink your website with these social presences.

And lastly, automate for scale

Michael Gray, Atlas Web Service

How to Automate Social Media without Being a Bot

“Social Media is Huge Time Suck”

Use automation smartly, to push at things human being has looked at, approved and seen.

“Make Social Actionable”

Find stuff that’s not from you – send out other peoples interesting and informative articles.

Customer Service & Problem Solving

  • Develop answers for your top questions for you and industry.
  • If someone is asking you a question, answer them.
  • Use search tools to automate keyword searches – tweetdeck, hootsuite, social mention
  • Check a few times a day and take difficult problems offline ASAP.

Be a Curator & Share News

  • Have a list of “evergreen” articles – that are not timely.
  • Content should not be self-serving but relevant to your industry.
  • Schedule posts/tweets for maximum exposure.

Promoting Others and Add Value to Community

  • Use lists to monitor high value groups or individuals for resharing.
  • Share content from noncompeting high profiles or complimentary organizations.
  • Share others self-serving posts.
  • Share current events.

Shameless Self Promotion should smallest part of your account with about 10-20% about you.

Set up a Social Scheduling Plan

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Social Bookmarking – Stumble, Reddit…

John Doherty, Distilled

Numerous factors go into determining if a social mention is going to affect rankings!

Search engines say # of followers doesn’t seem to matter for rankings. (Because there is so much spam and follower buying these days.)

People who manually tweet have a greater true reach because engagement matters!

  • Number of clicks, replies and RTs contributes to authority.

“Bullet points kill kittens” – Rank Fishkin

From 11pm – 5pm may be the best time to tweet to garner retweets.


  • Cultivate a group of people who will share your stuff
  • Share new, interesting articles – your engagement can affect author rank
  • Vary your style
  • You can use semi-automated process

Do not:

  • Spam followers

To gain more insight on this session, follow #SMX and #21A on Twitter.

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