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Is A Social Media Profile Now Essential For Ranking Well in Google?

   
2:41 am on Oct 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It seems that almost every time an expert speaks on the subject of successful SEO, or conversely why a site might have SEO problems, the message always seems to include a bit about the importance of establishing a social media profile.

While social media chatter is a natural extension for many categories of sites, it (IMO) makes no sense at all with many other categories, particularly sites which are very content intensive and encyclopedic... even if they do have an ecommerce segment. Their purpose is to deliver information and not provide a platform for social interaction.

Despite that distinction, is the current reality that sites of any type need a social media profile to have a realistic chance at decent rankings?

Opinions?
8:48 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Rand Fishkin recently blogged on the effects of Google + and ranking performance. Video included... recommended.

[moz.com ]
10:27 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Rand Fishkin recently blogged on the effects of Google + and ranking performance. Video included... recommended.
[moz.com ]

If I correctly understand what Rand Fishkin is saying, then apparently anyone with a lot of G+ followers could post a piece of worthless garbage, and it would soon start showing up at the top of those followers' search results.
11:06 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes... what I took from this is that you have to be logged in to Google+ to see the bias (Rand's word, not mine) so the overall impact is limited at the moment due to the small number of Google+ users.

Why they would think a user who happens to be logged in to a Google+ account needs a different set of search results escapes me... but that is a whole different thread waiting to happen.
11:40 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)



Google has given a way to track social events in Google Analytics (ga). [developers.google.com...]

You can let ga track when a user clicks a like button, a +1 button, or a tweet button.

I don't know if the data in ga is directly used in rankings or whether the social events mean something special to Google.
I believe, the social event data is a better metric than the total likes a page might have because it is tied to a human user (theoretically).

Google knows how much of your traffic is coming from social sources.

Now the real question is whether doing all this helps rankings. You have to be careful if you decide to implement the share/like buttons. They considerably slow your site down. They have to be implemented in a way that doesn't affect the page load time.

It used to worth doing all this for Facebook traffic. This days when a user likes your site only a small fraction of the user's friends see the like in their feed. I know this because the number of likes my site pages get has been increasing over they years while the referral traffic I get from Facebook seems to be caped to a certain amount.

Facebook wants you to pay for the traffic they are sending you. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep reducing the free referrals by limiting how many people will see the shared content on their feed.
1:09 am on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Google knows how much of your traffic is coming from social sources.

Maybe, but tracking quality is what they're likely interested in, when they can do it better. Better to build up good quality relationship profiles and enable them online for Google to see when the time comes.
3:38 am on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)



It used to worth doing all this for Facebook traffic. This days when a user likes your site only a small fraction of the user's friends see the like in their feed. I know this because the number of likes my site pages get has been increasing over they years while the referral traffic I get from Facebook seems to be caped to a certain amount.


@furshka this is spot on. Basically since FB has been applying ads to people's timelines and newsfeeds, the amount of realestate left for general fan page type stuff has reduced incredibly.

It is still viable and pretty good but I now diversify amongst all the different social networks and get roughly the same traffic I used to get from FB alone. A little bit more work but still nice to be not totally reliant on Google.
3:22 pm on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)



@Whitey, I agree Google is very interested in tracking quality. The question is how much of confidence do they expect before taking the data into account for ranking. My feeling is that mostly some level of confidence is all Google can get anyway and some of that referral data is better than nothing.

@viral, I have no intention of removing social buttons from my site at least in the near future. Something is better than nothing. But I no longer sweat over getting referrals from FB. My social traffic accounts for a mere 1-2%, referral 2-3%, direct 23%, Google 70%, and others 3%. I am still heavily reliant on Google. I wish the traffic is much more diversified.
5:49 pm on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)



If I correctly understand what Rand Fishkin is saying, then apparently anyone with a lot of G+ followers could post a piece of worthless garbage, and it would soon start showing up at the top of those followers' search results.


Presumably G is still applying whatever quality filters it has in this situation. If it's complete spam it shouldn't show up.

That aside, what Rand speaks about there is all well and fine when you already have an established relationship with the person or page, but that doesn't do anything to gain new users. And on that front, there are still conflicting studies over whether or not sharing from an authoritative G+ account can make you rank highly for non-circlees.
8:04 am on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



If the website is visible only in Google and nowadays there are lots of reasons that you may lose it for few days/months all on a sudden then the site loses everything but if it has properties both in Google and FB, Twitter; then FB, Twitter activities can help in bad times when Google is not showing the site in top result. ;)
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