3 Experiments that Analyze Social Media – SEO Correlation
Google uses social signals to rank search results, but the exact criteria and the extent to which social media affects SEO remains a mystery.
Currently following questions are being discussed by SEO experts.
Which social media network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc) has the maximum impact on SEO?
Are social shares the new links in SEO?
Does the authority of the ‘social sharer’ matter or are all social shares (and sharers) equal?
In this post, I will share some experiments, analysis, and case studies that answer the above questions in a bid to work out social media –SEO correlation.
Experiment 1: Which Social Media has Maximum Impact on SEO?
Tasty Placements, an Austin based SEO firm created 6 similar websites. Leaving one site as the control, each of the other 5 was promoted using one particular social media platform. After a month, all sites recorded a positive change in their search engine ranking (compared to control), with the maximum rise being seen in the websites that used the Google+ Business platform and the Google+1 button.
Impact of different social media on search engine ranking
You can access the infographic and study details here.
Experiment 1(a): Arising from above results, is Google+ the most beneficial social network for SEO?
Because Google+ is Google’s own social media platform, we can be fairly certain that Google+ signals will be important ranking parameters.
SEOMoz conducted an experiment to understand the impact of Google Plus metric exclusively on the search ranking of a website. The chosen website link was exclusively +1d (No tweets, FB shares, LinkedIn shares). The result was a jump to # 6 spot from #16! (WOW)
Here is an interesting post on how the Google +1 button affects SEO.
Are Social Shares the New Links – An Analysis
Well Matt Cutts clearly says that links are still significant for search rankings. – Fact I
An analysis of more than 25,000 shared links by Dan Zarella has shown that there is a positive correlation between social shares and in bound links. – Fact II
Interpreting Facts I and II together
If a=b and b=c, then a=c. (where search ranking is a, inbound links is b, and social shares is c), we can say that social shares can influence your search rankings.
Of course your content has to be ‘share-worthy’. Here are some tips for creating content your readers will share.
The Significance of the ‘Sharer’s’ Authority – A Case Study
Google and Bing have stated that the SEO value of a tweeted link depends on the authority of the person who tweets it.
SEOMoz experienced the pleasant benefits of this when their “Beginners Guide to SEO” url was tweeted by power Twitter user Smashing Magazine. Within hours, SEOMoz was ranking #4 for the term “Beginners Guide” and as of today, there are at spot 2 for this term. You can read the detailed case study here.
I rest my case here. Do feel free to let me know of any experiments and experiences of your own in the Social Media-SEO correlation area.
Yasir Khan, the author of this post is the Founder of Quantum SEO Labs. Quantum SEO Labs helps businesses derive the maximum benefits from social media for SEO.