Gone were the days when search results were influenced by content. Now is the time when social media is dominating search engine results. How well your content is naturally shared and liked by your readers determines the success rate and ranking of your content in search engines. You cannot simply rely on SEO anymore given that the internet has become a social village. For any piece of article or content, please note that there are two main factors for ranking:

  • Uniqueness
  • Relevancy
  • Social (the new 3rd factor)

By uniqueness I mean how well the content has been created without copying pasting content from other sources. Relevancy refers how well your content is targeted towards your audience and readers. I know using keywords in headlines, headers, texts and blah blah is important but that is long gone now. Google now uses the social factor, which I call the 3rd new factor in determining your site’s ranking.

After the Penguin and Panda updates rolled out, Google isn’t staying calm anymore. More and more reliance has been on social factors to rank your website.This is the right time we study Social Search and define our marketing campaigns that align with naturalist ranking approach.

Social and SEO – What is the link?

Social Media Influences SEO resultsSocial and SEO now has a deep link that you ever though it would have. If your content is more socially active on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, etc. it would be preferred by search engines for better rankings as compared to content not influenced by social media. Just think about it. You are creating content for your readers and if they don’t socially share it, how well would you think your content is going to rank on top of the search engine results? Listed below are some examples of the link between Social and SEO is, often termed as “Social Search.”

  1. Google Plus your World – The search engine giant Google announced in early 2012 that it has integrated Google Plus & Google Search Results with the primary objective of boosting content with more +1s to be preferred and on the top of search results. Knowing that the search engine giant is behind Google Plus, it is worthwile to dig deep into this platform, create your own dedicated Google + page and share your content.
  2. Bing Social Search – Not left behind in the competitive search engine race, Bing has also started to integrate social network of the searcher into the search engine results. As per the media statement of Bing, the new social search would”complement the standard search results without compromising them, offering you the chance to start a conversation and get advice from your friends, experts and enthusiasts right within the search experience.” Even though there is no official and dedicated Social media network for Bing, it relies heavily on the content sharing activity on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
  3. Facebook Social Search – Marck Zuckerberg isn’t behind either. He has started developing a social search engine for Facebook and has shown great interest in various of his media statements of a “possible social search engine under development.” According to him, “search engines are really evolving towards giving you a set of answers… like, I have a specific question, answer this question for me. And when you think about it from that perspective, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of the questions that people have.” Roughly 1 billion search queries per day are handled by Facebook, which makes it a premium spot for social search engine. Most of the searches are currently made on corporations and organizations, but there is a good potential of searches pertaining to decision-making.

How to gain benefit of this rising social trend?

This is a hard question to answer. I started my blog in March, got corrupted, wiped out everything and then started again in December, 2012. I already have a Facebook like box on the right hand side for my readers to like my page. In order to gain the best possible leverage from social media marketing, it is important that you follow the following steps:

1. You should have a social media marketing plan aligned with your SEO strategy

SEO is great but it has started slowly getting dominated by social search results. You should have a dedicated page for the following social media websites:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Optimize your webpage content with important keywords. Make sure that your keyword density is in between 1% to 2% and nothing more, which is considered as a deliberate spamming attempt by Google. Build your social presence online with a dedicated page as I said above. Make sure that you have completely filled out your company’s profile so that it is easily viewed by your target audience.

2. Encourage your readers to share content

Just like I encourage my readers to share my blog posts, it is the right time you do the same. According to a research, 92% of the consumers trust recommendations from family & friends. If you are naturally referred, think about the chances of your site landing on the top page of Google for your search results.

Make sure that you study the trends of social activity and spend some time in getting acquainted with the ones who are loyal followers of your blog and regularly share content. Keep creating good content for your website so that your readers are getting something new and refreshing. Not only your reader loyalty would remain persistent, but so would be your rankings.

You need to have Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter plugins on your website to make sharing of your content easy by your readers.

3. Create Fresh Content

It goes without saying that no matter how hard you try to rank, if you do NOT write for people, you would never succeed in your objectives. Period! The prime objective of starting my blog is to educate my readers about SEO, social media and the tech giants. I am a regular blogger and this is a small effort. And one more thing, it doesn’t hurt to place Adsense codes on your website to monetize your content. However, great, unique, compelling and powerful content drives visitors and money to your website. Nothing else does the same. Without unique content, my website could get banned and my Adsense earning could drop to zero.

Regardless of what many SEO experts say, usefully compelling content is relied heavily by the search engines. If you haven’t shared your content socially and it is a great piece of advice, chances are that it could get viral by your readers on different platforms. I have seen many articles that were written for and shared by readers. Sales pitched, boring content isn’t helpful now. Unique content does more than 50% of the job of driving quality traffic to your blog.

Yasir Saeed

A tech enthusiast, blogger and all things tech geek, I am Yasir Saeed from Pakistan, somewhere in my mid 20's. I write how-to-guides and other tech topics for you on my personal blog at yasirsaeed.com.