Social media has been elevated from “potentially useful marketing tool” to “official search engine ranking factor”. This means that for any business, the question is no longer “should I be involved in social media,” but instead “in which areas of social media can I most effectively spread my message.”
In a recent video, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, addresses the topic of whether or not links shared through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter affect the organic ranking of a website. His response is…
Yes. Social media affects page rank.
However, just like page rank is determined not only by the number of links but the quality of those links as well, social ranks are affected not only by the number of followers (fans, etc) but the quality of those followers as well. Real people sharing real stories and opinions carry more weight than mindless bots.
This is a major change since Google last officially addressed this topic in May, 2010. At that time, Google was not measuring the quality, reach or influence of individual social media users. Now, the quality of individual users is taken into account when Google determines how much influence a post on a social site affects page rank.
Spreading your message on social media is now an important factor in your organic ranking, but the quality of your conversations is also important. Rather than jumping at the latest social media gadget, take the time to put in quality effort in a few areas where you can influence meaningful discussions, and you and your fans will all benefit.
Contributed by: Mike Supple, Sr. Social Media Manager, Milestone Internet Marketing