The idea of using links to help identify high quality and well liked sites was a major leap forward for search engines. It helped the likes of Google to determine which sites were most popular with their readers and, therefore, which sites were the most authoritative. While links still prove highly valuable to a search engine optimisation campaign, they have been joined by social media ranking factors. Attracting likes, comments, and +1s can help further improve your search engine position.
There are some similarities between links and social ranking factors. Not all are treated equally so you will receive greater weight with a like from an authoritative account. This is likely done in order to help prevent marketers and website owners from gaming the system. Without such measures in place it would be possible to register hundreds or thousands of dummy accounts simply to build links. By using authority and quality to determine the value of a social link, the search engines can negate this problem.
Different Social Media
Each social network or social media website is slightly different and this means that the ranking factors they have are also different. When embarking on a social media marketing campaign, especially if it is to help boost search engine rankings, you need to first identify the actions that are measured by Google and the like.
Facebook Ranking Factors
Facebook has shares, comments, and likes; all of which are likely to be used as ranking factors because they identify quality content. If something is being shared between users and gaining a lot of likes then it must be good quality. Similarly, if a piece of content or a status update is amassing a large number of comments then it is perceived as being beneficial by the search engines.
Twitter Ranking Factors
Twitter has proven an effective tool for social media marketing and SEO but, again, attention is paid to quality as well as quantity. The number of Tweets you post is unlikely to have any bearing on search results but gaining a link from an authoritative Twitter user will have a bearing. Retweeted links will carry a lot of benefit because you will receive numerous links and it shows that your content is popular.
Google+ Ranking Factors
Google may be one of the newest entrants to the social media market but it is obviously a significant one. A +1 is essentially an editorial vote and receiving a number of these from respected accounts can give a major boost. Links from authoritative accounts are also considered effective.
Other Social Ranking Factors
Many other social media sites exist and they all have their own ranking factors to consider. Pinterest uses Pins, Digg uses Diggs, and so on. Identify the likely ranking factors on a site before ethically encouraging your readers and new connections to help promote your profile as well as your website and other online real estate.
The Rise Of AuthorRank
One factor that you shouldn’t overlook is your AuthorRank. This is a quality score that is given to individuals rather than their websites or other real estate. Linking your social profiles, integrating them with your website content and other content, and then building your profile so that it is perceived as being high quality by the search engines will give you a higher AuthorRank. Once your social media profiles are linked this means that social ranking factors will carry some of the weight of your profile and improvements to one social network may provide benefits to your other accounts.
The Importance Of Social Ranking Factors To SEO
Social ranking factors are used by search engines as one method of calculating quality and building search results. As well as concentrating on links, which still offer value to a search optimisation campaign, you should put some time, effort, and resources into the development of social ranking factors and building your AuthorRank.