Does Social Media have an Effect on SEO?

The relationship between search engines and social media platforms is often debated and always changing. There is a lot of speculation about how much of an effect it can have on search performance.

Social networking activity has changed since Google was first developed, when social networking was extremely limited compared to present day. Google have a need to display an accurate picture of what is available on the web, so they have had to adapt to accommodate different types of social networking sites.

One of the biggest examples of this was back in 2015, when Google announced a new partnership with Twitter, giving them access to their “firehose” of content. Following this Google began indexing a much larger quantity of tweets and displayed these tweets in the index in different ways.

Not only does social media use show that your business has active online presence, but it also shows you are willing to interact with your market and customers. It can also be used as a useful extension of customer service, or a tool for lead generation in some business areas and in the right circumstances.

Google’s Statements on Social Media and SEO

Some case studies, such as this one by Neil Patel, advocate a direct relationship between certain social signals in search performance. However, in a later article the author observed this video by Google’s former webspam Matt Cutts, stating that

“Facebook and Twitter social signals are not a part of Google’s algorithm.”

You can view the full video here:

Matt also explains that using social signals can be quite difficult, as they can be easily manipulated or blocked. Many of the links contained in social site’s also have the nofollow link attribute applied to them automatically, to prevent them from passing any link strength to directly benefit seo.

There is a lot of dispute over whether social media does or does not have a direct effect on rankings. However, this does not mean that you should ignore it, or that it can’t help your site.

There are several ways in which your social media campaigns can be integrated with your search marketing campaigns, for example:

-Using your targeted keywords as subject areas for tweets or posts

-Posting links back to blogs on your website, to drive traffic

-Building relationships within your industry which could lead to potential PR coverage and links.

To find out more about integrating SEO with your social media or other marketing strategies, contact us today.