Social Media Signals and SEO

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Presentation Covering Detailed Studies on Google Plus Impact on SEO, Facebook Impact on SEO, and Twitter Impact on SEO. Also Includes Speculation on How Google May Use These Signals in the Future.

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Social Media Signals and SEO

  1. 1. Social Signals and SEO
  2. 2. First Off... Who Am I?  Co-author: The Art of SEO  CEO: Stone Temple Consulting, 30+ person Digital Marketing and SEO firm  Columnist:  Interviewer:
  3. 3. Host of: The Digital Marketing Excellence Show & The Digital Marketing Answers Show
  4. 4. Eric Enge – Fun Fact I Have Run the Boston Marathon 3 Times!
  5. 5. Moz Correlation Study
  6. 6. Searchmetrics Correlation Study
  7. 7. Be Careful With Correlations!
  8. 8. Most Recent Matt Cutts Statements
  9. 9. Video Summary • Social Site Web Pages Not treated differently • Only Access Public Pages • Cannot Easily Track or Use Identity – For example, who likes/follows whom – Having to crawl to get the data is a BIG limitation • Respect NoFollows
  10. 10. Denials Have Been Persitent “Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let's start with correlation != causation” August 21, 2013 Hacker News
  11. 11. Stone Temple Consulting Study What Does Google See on Facebook?
  12. 12. Can’t See Likes At All
  13. 13. Can See The Friends Link
  14. 14. Google May Only See 20 I Have 739
  15. 15. From Your “Desktop”? “Probably not because the javascript that loads more friends is dependent on scrolling the page. There is not a separate version of the page for users without javascript.”AimClear’s Joe Warner
  16. 16. From Your “Smartphone”? If Google crawls this they can get a complete list of your Facebook Friends Bottom Line: They can get this data if they want it.
  17. 17. Lots of Facebook Pages Are Indexed
  18. 18. Public Pages Only Spider/Crawler/Robot Private Page
  19. 19. How Many Public Facebook Posts Does Google Index?
  20. 20. Bing Results 2010 (New York Post)
  21. 21. Bing Results 2011
  22. 22. Bing Results 2012 With a Social Sidebar
  23. 23. Even Bing Does Not Use Facebook Data Social Sidebar
  24. 24. “…what does a like mean? Some people like the page, some folks might like the content, some folks might just think it’s funny and likeable. As you said, the likes are a good signal, but they’re not a granular signal of what particular thing you’re actually expressing a like about.” Bing’s Stefan Weitz On using Likes as votes the way links are used:
  25. 25. Link Code in Facebook
  26. 26. Twitter
  27. 27. Tweet Indexing Over Time
  28. 28. Link Code in Twitter
  29. 29. Google Plus
  30. 30. Google Plus – Personalized Results
  31. 31. Personalization Example Ranks #2 When Logged In, #12 When Logged Out
  32. 32. Google Plus Post in SERPs
  33. 33. Brand Pages Crowd Out Competitive PPC
  34. 34. Stone Temple Consulting Study Does Google Plus Drive Non- Personalized Rankings?
  35. 35. Code for a Google Plus Share • This is why people think the links pass value • Note: Google deliberately and carefully architected this to pass PageRank • They did so for a reason • Our opinion that is that it is not treated the same as a traditional link • It is probably filtered in some fashion • Likely value is as a supplemental signal
  36. 36. Three Participating Sites
  37. 37. Two Articles Per Site (6 Total Pages Tested) Test Page Baseline Page
  38. 38. No Inbound Links to the Pages No Google Analytics, No G+ Code
  39. 39. How We Used the Baseline Pages • 7/19: 6 Shares • 7/19: Crawled • 7/29: Indexed • 8/4: 25+ Shares • 8/28 – 9/1: 4 Authoritative Shares • 1st burst of shares drove indexing • Initial rankings may be due to domain authority • Test: Will 2nd or 3rd burst of shares improve ranking?
  40. 40. How We Used the Baseline Pages • Only one burst of shares • Used to see if natural ranking volatility >= than that of the test pages • 7/19: 25+ Shares • 7/19: Crawled • 7/29: Indexed • No Further Shares
  41. 41. 1 2 Log File Sequence - Discovery
  42. 42. Indexation
  43. 43. The Strongest Argument for G+ Ranking Impact 7/29/13 Initial Indexing 7/19/13 - 6 Shares RankingPosition Of all the terms we Monitored, this was The one that showed The most movement
  44. 44. Baseline Page Low Ranking Terms - BV RankingPosition 7/19/13 - 41 Shares
  45. 45. For 10 Search Terms - TNE RankingPosition 7/19/13 - 6 Shares 7/29/13 – Initial Indexing 8/4/13 – 36 Shares
  46. 46. • Sharing a link in Google Plus is not treated the same as a “regular web link • But, that does not mean it has NO SEO value
  47. 47. Google Tested New Code For a Share Empty Anchor Branded Anchor
  48. 48. I think it's always a bit tricky for us when we can recognize that it's a user generated content site & we're not really sure how to trust those links within there, but generally speaking if it's a link that doesn't have any anchor text in it, we'll still treat that as a link. Google’s John Mueller
  49. 49. G+ Ripples Chart
  50. 50. More Complex Ripples Chart
  51. 51. How Google Plus Shares May Impact SEO (non-personalized)
  52. 52. Interview with Danny Sullivan
  53. 53. Reversal of the Denials? “It was a complete overhaul of the search engine … they were going to be able to handle link data differently … they could handle new social signals they could not handle before.October 31, 2013 The #DMEShow
  54. 54. What to Expect With Google+? • Google will leverage G+ – More than just personalization and G+ posts in the results • Will NOT be the same as a web links • Can’t punish people not on G+ – Many authoritative authors don’t have G+ accounts – Tail will not wag the dog
  55. 55. Thank You! Eric Enge eenge@stonetemple.com @stonetemple +Eric Enge (508) 485-7751 www.stonetemple.com

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