12 Jan 2012

Social Media and SERPS Your World will Rank

It’s no secret that Social Media influences your search rankings, but where people seem to get lost is in HOW Social Media impacts SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).  So, let’s break it down into English or at least as far from geek-speak as I can manage. (If  you hear the Waa Waa Waa of Charlie Brown’s teacher stop for  a 10 second brain break.).

Search Engines work on relevance, meaning it’s a search engine’s job is to bring results back that are the most relevant to what the user was searching for. Over the last year or so, search engines have been trying to personalize the information on SERPs. For example:  If you are logged into Google when you search, the results will be different than if you aren’t. If you are logged into Facebook, then pages that your friends have liked will show up in your search results.  All of this happens to help you, the searcher, get the most relevant information.

Simon Heseltine has a great article on Search Engine Watch that shows some examples of personalization.

Secondly, search engines, particularly Google, like displaying results that have been +1 in Google and “Liked” in Facebook.  The theory is, if it’s worth “liking” it’s got something good to say and is therefore more relevant.

The trick comes in with effectively leveraging that theory by participating in the social networks.

From a business owner’s perspective, incorporating Social Media in your Internet Marketing plan will get you noticed more, help you show up organically in the SERPs more and  increase the traffic to your website. From there, the goal is to convert that traffic into new business. By actively participating in the social networks, you increase your relevance and the relevance of your brand.

How to participate:

  1. Create profiles on the social networks.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ all come to mind.  Plus some of the smaller industry specific sites.
  2. Create a separate Facebook business page for your web site and each relevant product / service.
  3. Own the space – Simply creating the profiles and leaving them dormant does not work.  Talk about what you do, what you like, what you know.  This positions you as an expert in your field, creates interest and most importantly gets you likes / fans / followers.  If you write a blog – even more of a linkable bonus.
  4. Add the +1 and like buttons to your web site and blog posts.  Throw in Twitter, Digg and other share buttons to give you more back-links.

This is all even MORE relevant in the light of Google’s announcement of Search Plus Your World. This change means that connections, their posts, what they like, Tweet, bookmark and +1, will be showing up in the SERPS for the people they are connected to. For your business and your bottom line, your investment in Social Networks will be a key to ranking well. Targeting your audience, being relevant, timely and interesting are no longer options for effective internet marketing, but requirements.

Also take a peek at The No Follow Myth

How does it feel to know Google indexes your likes?

Comments

  1. John January 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Agreed those links can generate some good quality backlinks – but what if the plan failed to some extent and does not create as much BUZZ as you expected! Will the site benefit just by few links it gained frm social media?
    I reckon – its more about generating traffic+ creating leads – that’s what everybody is concerned about – not inks or SERPS! Lol.

  2. Rick Noel January 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Nice post Melissa. With the recent Google update Search, Plus Your World, there is no question that Google+ is going to play a very prominent role in Google search results personalization while driving social network user adoption of Google+. Links from Facebook company pages and Twitter seem to positively influence the SERPs. You are right that participation is the key and that while creating profiles is necessary, on its own, is not sufficient. One thing is for certain, social signals will continue to play a role in driving SERPs for the major search engines, not only purely from an organic ranking perspective, but also from a personalization perspective. Bing with Facebook, Google with Google+. The magic will be if/when search engines can personalize results factoring in data across all the major networks. Given the current competitive landscape and fierce competition between Facebook and Google along with the Twitter criticism of Google Search, Plus Your World, this seems unlikely anytime soon. Thank for sharing.

  3. Samuel Uherek January 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I think that the whole SEO has just changed. Now we should call it Social SEO. Since Google announced the new personal search, it’s crucial to create a Google+ profile and have people in your circles. Although social media like facebook, twitter did ranked well in the SERPs, the game is over and we should focus on Google+ if Google’s traffic is still important to us.

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