Search Optimization Tips for Social Media


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With Google weighting social activity more heavily in search results, everyone needs to think about how their digital interactions can benefit search engine performance. We talk about how Google's search algorithm is changing and what that means to the people who represent our businesses in social channels.

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  • Links are about half the determining factor in search engine visibility. They arealso the factor over which you have the least control.
  • Inbound links from high-quality sources elevate search ranking. What’s a high-quality source? Basically, it’s a source that has high-quality links from other sources. Kind of a recursive formula.TribeHR is the number one Google search result for “human resources software.” The company has excellent on-site SEO, but it also has more than 600 inbound links, includingHuffington Post, Forbes, Techcrunch, SAP, GigaOm, Crunchbase, Venturebeat, Hubspot, Electronic Engineering Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail.
  • A link from mostsocial network profiles does you little or no good because most of them are “nofollow” links. However, not all of them are nofollow.Pinterestand Google+ profile links are followed - for now. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profile links are nofollowed.You should take advantage of any links you can place yourself in credible places that will be indexed by GoogleNote that this equation also changes all the time. For example, Wikipedia links used to be followed, but so many people were trying to game the system that it became a headache for Wikipedia editors. Now Wikipedia links are nofollow – and useful for SEO.
  • This is whatsearch looks like these days. If your search is for a person or entity, Google tries to construct a profile out of information it has. The easier you make it for Google to create the profile, the better the quality of the profile and the better your opportunity touse your own profile to your advantage.
  • This is where Google+ comes in. A lot of people think Google+ is an also ran social network, but Google has never positioned it as a Facebook killer. Rather, Google has talked about Plus as an integration point for all its properties.One thing we do know is that Google+ activity figures into search results. If search is important to you, you need to have a Google+ profile and a page for your business. It also needs to be an active page. While you will get more visibility with people on Facebook, you will get more visibility in search from Google+.
  • Look at all the promotional benefits HubSpotgets from its Google+ profile. Naturally, it tops organic results for a search on its name, but searchers can also download two content premiums directly from the results page as well as follow the company. This is a great use of Google+. HubSpot is eliminating layers between the company’s search result and its calls to action. The fewer clicks the searcher needs to get to the content premium the better.
  • While the role of social media in Google search results is still a point of debate, there’s no question that search is becoming more social and also more personalized. Someone who has a Google account and is signed in sees different search results from everyone else. Here’s an example on a very common query. My colleague Robin Sharpf shows up as the fourth search result for “search engine optimization.” That’s because Google knows that I have a relationship with Robin because she’s in my Google+ circles. If she mentions a keyword that I search for, her mention is automatically elevated in my search result.
  • While Google+ is far behind Facebook in actual usage, alot of people have Google+ accounts - about half as many as have Facebookaccounts. Google doesn’t release precise figures, but these are pretty good estimates.
  • Activity on Google+ is still small compared to Facebook, but it counts disproportionately in search results. This is why it doesn’t hurt to post your content to your Google+ circles. The more people share your content, the better it is for that link. Circles also figure in search results, so links shared by people who are active in many circles – or who have large circles – are more likely to be seen by others.
  • Google even has a tool called “ripples” that shows you an influence chart for any given public post. It’s accessible from the menu of options for any public post.
  • Bing isn’t sitting still. Microsoft and Facebook have a deal to provide Bing with preferred access to Facebook activity. Bing users who are logged in to Facebook see search results from their Facebook friends in a separate column. At this point the Facebook results are not integrated into the Bing search results.
  • There are other good reasons to post content in social network for search results. Basically, the more chances you create for people to view your content, the more chances they will link to it. There’s no magic formula for this. The idea is to spread awareness so that the likelihood of getting quality links increases.Facebook has a dynamic I call “The Power of 245.” The average Facebook user has 245 friends, who each receive notification activity within their friends network. The prominence of that notification depends on many variables, including their relationship to the person, recent activity and whether they’ve liked, commented or shared that person’s content recently. The point is that content shared among friends can spread very quickly if it’s something people want to share.
  • Does any of this information prove conclusively that mentions in social media affect search rankings? No, but there is growing evidence that it does. Google changes its search algorithm all the time, and on any given day social could be more or less influential. What is certain is that the trend over the last several years has been for Google to increasingly factor social mentions into search visibility. This research presents pretty compelling evidence that Twitter is a factor in Google search.
  • SEOMoz looked at the after-effects of the popular Dollar Shave Club video that went viral in early 2012. While interest died down after a huge initial spike, search activity settled in at much higher levels than before.
  • This is SEOMoz’s summary of how the cycle of social search works, and it sums things up pretty well.
  • SEOMoz also notes that validation in multiple channels is a key element in moving prospects through the sales funnel. The more chances a prospect has to learn about your company, the more comfortable he/she is likely to be with you.
  • Search Optimization Tips for Social Media

    1. 1. Social Media Tips for Search Engine Optimization Paul GillinTwitter: @pgillin
    2. 2. LINK LOVEClick to edit Master title style Inbound links are the secret sauce of modern search engines, and the rules change all the time. @pgillin #mpb2b
    3. 3. We‟re #1 (for „Human Resources Software‟)Twitter: @pgillin
    4. 4. Blogs are Link Magnets Source: HubSpotTwitter: @pgillin
    5. 5. The Heartbreak of ‘Nofollow’ Links from Google+ are indexed by Google‟s search engine… …but links from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter aren‟t.
    6. 6. The New Face of Search (It’s Social)Twitter: @pgillin
    7. 7. Twitter: @pgillin
    8. 8. The Google+ BonusTwitter: @pgillin
    9. 9. Twitter: @pgillin
    10. 10. Twitter: @pgillin Source: MarketingLand
    11. 11. Circles of InfluenceGoogle‟s “extendedcircles” mean youinfluence not onlyyour followers, buttheir followers, too.Twitter: @pgillin
    12. 12. Twitter: @pgillin
    13. 13. Bing and Facebook, Sittin’ in a TreeTwitter: @pgillin
    14. 14. The Power of 245 The average Facebook member has 245 friends, who each receive notifications of their network‟s Facebook activitiesTwitter: @pgillin
    15. 15. Do Social Mentions Affect Search Rankings? According to Branded3 research • URLs see significant Google boost when shared on Twitter • Boost effect levels off at around 50 tweets and kicks in again around 5,000 tweets • After 5,000 tweets, ranking improves considerably • URLs with over 7,500 tweets almost always rank in top 5 results Average ranking for URLs with >7,500… 4.96 Average ranking for URLs with >5,000… 30.51 Average ranking for URLs with >1,000… 40.76 Average ranking for URLs with > 500… 45.81 Average ranking across all URLs 54.17Twitter: @pgillin Source: Branded3, April, 2012
    16. 16. Afterglow The “social boom” around Dollar Shave ClubTwitter: @pgillin drove search activity higher for all of 2012.
    17. 17. Bottom Line Create Share- Worthy ContentMore Searchers Share SociallyBiased to Seeing Your Stuff Win on the Earn the Social Internet Rankings BoostAmplify Network Reach Get Natural Links from Content’s Earn More Social Visibility & ValueTwitter: @pgillin Followers
    18. 18. Multi-ChannelAttribution isCritical RTwitter: @pgillin
    19. 19. Thank You! Paul Gillin Site: 508-656-0734 Blog: Twitter: pgillinTwitter: @pgillin