In the last year or two, Social Media has grown to be essential for long term SEO success. It is no coincidence that Google now and in the future will rely heavily on Social Media popularity and trends. In the never-ending combat against spam, Google has moved to listen to the voices of the internet (i.e. you) to help get their search engine to be as spam free and useful as possible.
When Google first started, their first concept was (ingeniously!) a search engine based around the back links a website was receiving. The keywords in those links in turn were used as the indication of what a particular page is relevant to. Over the years Google kept continuously improving its algorithm, but that basic assumption and core ranking mechanism still applies.
In the meantime, the webmasters replied with varied tactics aimed at getting Google to position a website at the coveted first spot, on top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Whatever Google came up with, whether it be keywords percentages, anchor text, page size or link building, people were able to at least adapt to accommodate the changes into their work.
Eventually as this got harder and harder. Thus, SEO industry was born, as it then took professionals working full time in order to “keep ahead of” or “please” search engines.
Google states that good, “white hat” SEO aimed at genuinely improving websites is good. But it abhors duplication, keyword stuffing, low quality link building, paid links and other spamming techniques known as “black hat’ SEO. It constantly targets websites that “cut corners” and penalises them with lowered listings, or by sometimes completely dropping pages from its index (“memory”).
In recent times, certainly with the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, Google has been almost relentless in combating low quality websites and spammers. This has even resulted in the destruction of entire business’s in the process! However, it is common knowledge that any shady techniques such as poor quality or mass link building will come back to haunt you.. In theory a completely white hat style of SEO should never get penalized.
Google has seen some success with its algorithm updates in regard to focusing on quality linking and interaction with internet communities. A good SEO consultancy firm are abreast of these changes and keep up with Google.
But the internet landscape, as well as the real world, have changed dramatically with the arrival of Social Media. This is why there is a high chance search engines will rely on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook more and more to determine website relevance and authority.
Social Media in Google’s eyes is a form of link building where it will be a lot harder to spam or attempt to beat Google. The ideology being that a person is not very likely to swamp their Facebook friends with links or attempt to send friends to low quality article directories. Thus, if a link it shared or ‘retweeted’ hundreds of times in social networks it is very likely to be seen as great web content and Google will then add that into ranking factors for a webpage that the posts link back to.
This is the time to start using Social Media in a way that will benefit your website’s performance now and in the future. Contact us to discuss your SEO and Social Media needs.