Social Media & SEO
The impact of social media on search engine visibility and search engine optimization has been speculated for years. Google has publicly stated that social media posts, likes, and other activity are not part of Google’s algorithm.
In other words, active and popular social media profiles don’t directly affect the search engine visibility of a company’s website.
Social media and Google E-A-T
Google Search Quality Raters guidelines now emphasise the acronym E-A-T. The acronym comes from the words Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
So how does Google measure these?
Content, user experience, and links will play a significant role, of course, but social media may also play a role in the future. Social media links have always been largely irrelevant to search engine optimization because they are known as "nofollow" links.
However, this is going to change a bit, and Google may, in some cases, also consider nofollow links in the future. You can read more about it on the Moz blog.
How does Google index social media?
Google indexes social media pages in the same way as it does with any other website. However, Google can only index a fraction of all social media content. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, so much new content is being produced on social media all the time that Googlebot can’t crawl everything. And the second reason is that much of the content on social media is not freely indexable. If the social media content is not public and only visible to the publisher's friends, it will not be indexed by search engines.
Indirect benefits of social media for search engine optimization
While investing in social media doesn't translate into an improvement in a site's search engine visibility right away,the indirect benefits of social media for search engine visibility can be significant in the long run.
Builds brand awareness
More people reading content = more new links
Social media can be used to build brand awareness. This will also be reflected in the increase in brand searches on Google over time. The increased number of brand searches is again a signal to Google of the site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Sharing content on social media can also get a lot more content readers, and it means better chances for people to link to the content of the site in the long term. Links are known to be one of the most important Google ranking factors.
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