The growing importance of Social Media in SEO

Ranking is important in SEO. Social media have an impact on this if a site or page is heavily linked to but it is a relatively new site or page. Search engines like Google may grow apprehensive about according the site a high rank in its listings unless social media have picked up on the site’s popularity. In this context, the red flags of a lack of interest on the part of social media is an indication that the site’s developers and SEO specialists are playing the game of search engine marketing, and have somehow managed to weight their site over others in terms of prominence, without much actual interest from genuine clients, customers or anyone with a Facebook page or a Twitter account.

That being said, today’s social media do not have all that much prominence when it comes to search engine marketing. However, the search engine giants are themselves taking a long and hard look at the likes, retweets, shares and +1s of the social media sites – with the ultimate view that these will be incorporated into the search engine algorithms. The fact that Google has established its own social media site speaks volumes about its intentions.

In recent surveys, an average of less than ten per cent of agencies and companies associated with marketing and more specifically, search engine marketing, regarded social media as having a discernible effect on the rankings of search engines at the moment. However, more than half of those approached contended that things would change within three years. Many agree that SEO campaigns need to have a social media element. Others view social media as separate for the moment – an entirely independent means of gaining subscribers, customers or site visitors. But they still see it as extremely significant.

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