How Social Signals Effect Organic Search Rankings

Jason DeMers recently took a close look at how social signals (Facebook likes and shares, tweets and retweets, Google +1’s) really affect a site’s search engine ranking.  DeMer’s cites Moz’s most recent search ranking factors report in which page-level social metrics were evaluated to be the ninth most correlative quality for high search rankings. Moz’s definition for page-level social metrics is “quantity/quality of tweeted links, Facebook shares, Google +1s, etc. to the page.”

DeMer’s goes on to describe this as, “the more people who share your article (either by clicking on the share buttons on your page, or by posting a link to your article on social media) the better chance your page will have at ranking.”


It’s more than Likes and Followers

So what does this mean? Essentially, it is not enough to just have “likes” or “followers”. In order to reap ranking benefits from social media, people need to be engaging with the content: sharing, retweeting, and commenting on posts.  DeMer’s explains that, “Much like any other page on the web, if a certain post gets more attention than another post due to increased commenting, linking, and sharing, it is seen to have a higher authority than the other post.”

Jason also shares a video from Google’s Matt Cutts from 2014 specifically shoots down the idea that having a certain number of page likes or a certain number of followers has a direct influence on a website’s rankings.

DeMers also emphasized that search engine ranking is not the only reward of posting thoughtful, quality content to social media outlets. Many businesses today consider bringing visitors to their website very important. By creating posts that appeal to consumers with outgoing links to your website, your traffic will likely increase!

DeMers summarizes, 

“If your end goal with SEO is getting more people to your site organically, think of it this way: your social media efforts will likely increase your social visitors in a more significant way than they influence your organic visitors. Ultimately you’ll get more visitors, and that’s always a good thing”

In the end, it’s not just how many people see your posts. It’s quality content that counts!

Read “How social signals really affect your search rankings