According to a recent study by Searchmetrics, social media shares such as Google +1 & Facebook shares are the most widely factors correlated with the good ranking in Google.
Searchmetrics studies the statistic correlation between factors, being able to influence the ranking, and the effective ranking:
Compared to 2012, the evolution is striking and highlights clearly the impact of social media, especially Google+ (as expected) and Facebook.
Is it surprising? Honestly, not. First of all, most users’ requests on Google Search are explicitly or implicitly linked to a recent content, including purchases. We want to know what is the best recent camera, not the one from 2011. But, the classic link (links from other websites’ pages), basis of all SEO, takes typically time to be built. Google needed more ‘signals’ about a page’s validity, spreading at high speed, to refine its ranking & especially keep it up to date with “what’s happening”, as quickly as possible. Social media are an important source of it, if not THE current source of those positive signals, about a page.
If we follow this reasoning, we can confirm it is indeed a causal link: more sharing, drives to a better SEO and not the opposite (a better SEO drives to more sharing). In fact, this could be the reverse in some cases (a better SEO gives more traffic and maybe more sharing), but this effect is, according to us, more limited. A small experiment was conducted recently to check that causality. The result was striking: the one with social sharing rose quite rapidly in the ranking
Then, which strategy should we implement to create those social sharing dynamics ? It is a virtuous circle that you must implement to remain relevant:
- You publish interesting content (own & curated content) and ease its sharing and/or you ask after the purchase (or use), a sharing of testimonials on Twitter, Facebook, Google+
- You republish your social content, the comments and social sharing on your website to convince the visitors of your words’ relevance and encourage them to share by themselves (the social dynamic is based on a small ambassadors’ core who have shown the example, it’s up to you to make them visible).
- Those sharing improve the ranking, bringing you more passive visitors who see this social engagement and share, buy more easily.
- You improve the circle, by identifying bottlenecks and start back to step 1.
More and more, everything is linked: social, website, search and other campaigns. It is time to integrate everything in one strategy and to bring social where it matters: on your website.
Thanks to Cédric Cauderlier for sharing the information .