A lot of fuss has been made about social media, and a large part of it is because it is new. Most fads have a very quick life. Most modern fads do not last beyond Christmas. Social media existed long before it became hyper popular. Blogging was the first to appear, and is still going strong today. Forums and chat rooms appeared quickly after, followed by MySpace. All of which were popular within Nerd culture (the same culture that dominates the current movie landscape), but then along came Facebook, and all of a sudden the sexless computer obsessed nerd was forgotten and everyone from prepubescent teens to elderly housewives were logging onto social media.
The effect of social media has been negligible up until Google finally created a working and successful social media site. They had tried and failed a few times before, but finally had their biggest success with Google+, which still runs today. Shortly after the success of Google+, Google announced that social media markers/likes/mentions would now count towards the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of a website. Here are a few of the positive impacts of social media on a website or blog’s SEO.
Online chatter has a place to congregate
People may now talk online, but instead of talking amongst friends on a one-to-one basis, such as with email, they can do it in a public forum. Users have more control over how they communicate however. For example, they need not wait weeks for a reply such as with forums, and they do not need to suffer abuse from other users such as with chat rooms.
This location to congregate has actually resulted in a very sharp uprising of online chatter. More people are now more likely to contact other people via the internet. Plus, it means that people can make passive comments and upload passive posts so that people need only reply to it if they feel like it. They do not feel obliged in the way that they do with email or SMS text messages.
Social media mentions allow search engines to judge web pages
All of this online chatter has resulted in what is known as social media mentions. A certain website or company may be mention, which works in the favor of the website or business. This mention may also result in a link being placed upon a social media profile (on a wall for example). The link has even more beneficial SEO factors than just mentions. The links and mentions allow the search engines to judge the websites in question. Lots of mentions may mean that a website has some sort of value, or at least is popular.
Social media mentions allow search engines to judge keyword strength
Your website will have keyword indicators. There are the strong foundation ones such as the keywords that are in your Meta keyword tag, are in bold, and are in an anchor text. Then there are the more passive ones that are in your web content, and then the justified keywords such as those in your title, introduction, Meta description and H1 tags. The search engines will pay more attention to your justified and passive keywords if they are mentioned on social media in reference to you. The social media mention will also validate the fact that you have put certain keywords in strong areas (in bold, in Meta keyword section, etc).
Links from social media help to show website popularity
Just like how backlinks will help to show that a website is popular, so will a link from social media. The only difference is that you will need a lot more links and mentions from social media than you will with links from other domains (websites).
Sharing on social media can help to increase traffic numbers
People being able to see your content may actually drive them to it. People will grow a taste for your content. For example, the “Onion” show is on YouTube, but has many people going over to its website because they first saw a glimpse of YouTube videos embedded in Facebook shares and on emails (and on YouTube obviously). Twitter re-Tweets help to indicate subject popularity. Duplication rules are less stringent so as to allow previews or tasters.
Google+ Authorship allows certain popularity benefits
These translate into positive SEO effects, and widgets come with their own SEO benefits for a page too. Even if the authorship is not yet as popular as it may be, you cannot deny that wider information dissemination encourages natural links (and natural links are good for SEO).
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