When asked how social shares influence search engine rankings, many diehard SEO enthusiasts claim there is no way Google and Bing overlook the popularity of content when awarding brands’ Page 1 grades. However, the lack of proof prevents many marketers from looking at social factors when developing SEO content marketing strategies.
But sites that have a higher volume of Tweets, Likes, RePins and +1s tend to rank better in Google, a new report from SearchMetrics discerns. To no surprise, the data shows that Google+ has the strongest correlations with higher rankings in SERPs, followed by interactions on Facebook. Pinterest engagement is shown to least likely influence upticks in SERPs.
While the SearchMetrics study only notes a correlation between social shares and PageRank, – not to be confused with causation – brands cannot deny that major search engines are increasingly factoring social signals into how they serve web content.
Marketers can make many assumptions from data provided to them by SearchMetrics, but some conclusions are more obvious than others. For example, the top positions in Google usually have hundreds or thousands of social shares, which could have more to do with the fact that people Tweet, Like and +1 high-quality social media content from well-ranked domains.
Econsultancy recently surveyed marketers about their perceived impact of Google+ on their search marketing strategies. The experiment found that 63 percent of respondents weren’t sure if G+ had any impact on their campaigns or domain authority at all. While it may not always be so obvious how social media marketing affects SEO efforts, reports continue to highlight how the two practices are becoming increasingly interwoven.