Do social media signals impact website rankings?
If you own a website, or are involved in search engine optimisation, you will understand the importance of your sites positioning in the search engine rankings. Getting your website on the first page of Google’s search results can drive an influx of new customers, build brand awareness and even attract advertisers willing to pay for their ads to appear on your site
Unfortunately, there is much more to achieving high rankings Google than just optimising your website for your target keywords and all the other elements required to position your website. Your Brand’s Social media footprint can now hinder or assist it’s search results positioning.
We came across a great infographic that Austin based SEO company TastyPlacement have put together to illustrate the results of a test they undertook to see if social signals from Google+, Facebook and Twitter really do have any affect on the search results.
As part of the test TastyPlacement created six websites based in six similarly-sized US cities. They let them settle in the index for ten months, and then began testing with the major social networks, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for each site, focusing on the following social signals for each site 1-5:
- Number of Twitter followers
- Number of Tweets and retweets
- Number of both Facebook shares and likes
- Number of followers to each of the site’s Google+ business page
- Number of Google +1 votes to each sites homepage
The sixth site in the test was not promoted at all and used as a control.
They promoted each of the five websites using the chosen social network for that month’s promotion, and then measured and recorded how each site’s search ranking moved for a set of keywords that was determined at the outset of the test.
So did social media signals have any influence on the search results?
They certainly did and the results were eye opening to say the least!
Overall, the individual site’s ranking changes ranged from a fall of 1.22% up to a whopping rise of 14.63% This experiment clearly shows that the social media footprint your website has does indeed affect your site positioning in the search results.
Unsurprisingly or not depending which side of the conspiracy theory fence you sit on as to whether Google does indeed favour it’s own properties in the search results. It was Google’s own social network Google+ that yielded the best results by a significant margin. The website in the testing that was linked to a dedicated Google+ business page saw a full 14.63% rise in its search position, while the website that had a Google+ +1 button rose 9.44%
Sadly, the same impressive results were not mirrored for Twitter or Facebook. Targeting Twitter tweets & retweets only got the website a 2.88% rise in Google’s search results, and adding an additional 1,000 Twitter followers actually caused one of the site’s position to fall by 1.22% . Facebook promotion resulted in a rise of 6.9% with 70 Facebook shares and 50 likes to the sites linked Facebook page.
Do social media signals impact website rankings? [ Infographic ]