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What Impact Does Social Media Have on SEO?

Social Media Club Nashville LogoYour social media presence has an impact on Google results. But how much of an impact does Social Media have on SEO? And what are the social signals that search engines look at?

On 3/20, join Ross Jones of 2 the Top Web Design for a joint meeting of the Nashville SEO Group and the Social Media Club of Nashville.

RSVP here:

You’ll learn answers to questions like:

What social media networks are most important for SEO?
What social actions impact Search Engine rankings?
Why is there so much disinformation about what works & what doesn’t work?
What the heck does “correlation does not equal causation” mean and why does it matter?

In December 2010, Google admitted for the 1st time that they do consider your social profile in their ranking algorithms. But they said they only considered it a tiny bit. In typical Google tradition, they won’t tell us any specific details but they do encourage website owners to produce great content and focus on users, not search engines.

Strong Correlation Between Social Signals and High Google Rankings

A 2012 study by Searchmetrics shows an extremely high correlation between Facebook shares and high ranking on Google. Does that mean that you’ll rank better if you get more shares on Facebook?

Some people say yes. One even went so far as to author an article titled: “Google favors Facebook shares, ‘likes,’ and comments more than keywords.”

That’s just baloney.

And it’s indicative of the difficulty for most people to understand the impact that social media has on SEO. There’s few hard facts and lots of the people claiming to be experts disagree.

Social: Direct Impact vs Indirect Impact on SEO?

There’s no denying that social media actions can have an indirect impact on SEO. If you create a great piece of content and it gets shared alot, someone will link to it. Bingo! Links help SEO.

But what about direct impact?

We know that personalization of search results is 1 place we see direct impact. Like something on Facebook and Bing will promote that content in your friend’s search results. Plus one a page on Google and your connections will see that page rank higher. Google also used social signals significantly in the short lived Real Time Search results.

What Should You Do?

By all means, have an active presence on social media. It can help you grow your brand by leveraging your existing relationship. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that more Facebook activity is the most important Google ranking factor.

If you want to rank well on Google, start with SEO best practices.

RSVP here for the free March 20 presentation:



  1. The author suggests: “If you create a great piece of content and it gets shared alot, someone will link to it. Bingo! Links help SEO.”

    Yes, users may link to the social content. But if the content is hidden behind a Twitter or Facebook login it will do nothing for SEO.

    • You’re right, Mike. There’s alot of activity in social media that’s not visible to the public & to search engines, Google’s referred to content like this as being “inside a walled garden.”

      But the point is this:
      1) If you create a great piece of content
      2) and it gets shared alot
      Then “someone will link to it” in a way that is visible to search engines.

      Thanks for helping me clarify!