Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter affect rankings in SEO processes to some extent. This is to imply that while these platforms can influence the popularity of a certain website, they cannot automatically rank them higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) because of a number of other factors that come into play. For a site to be ranked higher in an SEO process, it must display irrefutable credibility and relevance. These are attributes that one cannot depend on the social media platforms to provide.
Take Google for instance; its search algorithms has been designed to ignore social links and as a result several links from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram connecting to your website does not automatically guarantee you a first page spot in Google’s SERP. Social media platforms should only be used to create awareness about the services or products of a certain website and not to anticipate improved rankings in search engines and here is why.
Social media and Search Engine Optimization
- Social media pages are treated the same
Taking Google as a reference search engine given its popularity, it treats pages from social media platforms and those from other sites as same and equal. As a result, it uses the same criteria of evaluation to rank them in order of importance and relevance through search engine optimization. It is also important to note that a ‘page’ to a search engine includes the different feeds, tweets and different pieces of information that are found on the social media platforms; a comment of Facebook is a page, a tweet on Twitter is a page and so is an update about a trending topic. It does not necessarily have to be a full screen size page.
This implies that the ‘pages’ on the social media platforms are not used as a ranking factor. Why? First of all, for search engines to rank them, they all have to be indexed and not all of them can be indexed. Secondly given the massive volume of ‘pages’ that are received in a day only from these platforms, they cannot all be processed, not even half of them.
- The Identity challenge
One of the reasons search engines poorly rank social platforms is because tracing the real owner of a given page or posted article is a daunting task. If you are following an author on Twitter who has a different or even similar user name in Facebook, how would you know? If you do not know the source how can you trust the credibility and authenticity of the posted article in question? These social media arenas provide users with the option to use fake names and identities and in so doing, many subscribers have done just that.
- Social media channels as search engines
Facebook and twitter are not just online social conventions but also act as binoculars for information. If you are looking for address location or product variety for a particular company, you do not have to rush to Google or Bing but consult Facebook, YouTube or MySpace for similar services. While search engines do not consider social ‘pages’ relevant in SEO ranking, they definitely consider searches that are performed on the social platforms for rating.
How exactly does it work? If you are very active CEO of a company on social media, people will likely discover more about you and link that information to the company’s website and products or services through the social media platform’s search engine. Fashion firms that deal with a lot of visually appealing products for instance can greatly benefit from Instagram and Pinterest which mostly involve sharing photos and images.
- Social media and search rating
In the contemporary social sense, links today are acquired by creating not only an original content, but also one that is rich in information. Links start to generate when people who find these contents educative share it on social media creating a chain reaction of viral information tagging. It is for this reason social media platforms help search engines to rank sites according to credibility.
While Google does not take this into consideration, the number of times a link has been shared, Bing on the other hand does that in addition to the authority of the platform user. As a marketing strategy though, many links to your site from these social networks improves your popularity on the web, which is an advantage that should be taken advantage of to gain customers.
- Social media and ranking
Even though ranking is dependent on links, you should be careful how you utilize social platforms to gather links. Links created for specifically manipulating search engines to gain higher ranking will be disregarded by search engines. This is contemporary configuration that is being built into the algorithms of the different search engines to protect their credibility.
If you have a tendency of creating many fake accounts in order to gain links and improve SEO ranking, then you might want to consider alternative marketing approaches. Google and other related search engines will treat these links as spam and disregard them.
Evaluating with utmost accuracy where exactly to place an organization’s website and or blog for individuals is a very complex process especially if the social platform is involved. From the name, they are meant for sharing and socializing, but sharing and information go hand in hand. As people share, they pass information to others; whether this information is real or fake is another matter thus why search engines do not depend much on social media references to establish website site ranks.
However you can use social media to gain visitors to your site. Think of them as marketing platforms, which they are, but in this case you market your site with the hope of getting customers who will consequently improve how search engines rate you. It is a long-term investment strategy that requires patience, hard work and consistency.