The Impact of Social Media on SEO: Showing Search Engines Who’s Boss

October 5th, 2011 by Sandi Moxley

We continually hear debates about the impact that social media has on search engine optimization (I feel needlessly pressured to add “if any”). To me it seems like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t a search engine take into consideration the signals that are coming from social outlets? After all, the search engine is trying to determine the most legitimate results to show me, and groups of real, genuine people can’t be faked or “optimized”. Allow me to share a small case study example from Ionic Media.

A recent and relatively organic example (pun intended) of the impact that social media can have on search engine optimization comes from a client for whom we recently started a social media campaign. Prior to our campaign, it’s important to know that this company had a website with absolutely no SEO work and the Facebook page we began managing was brand new. At the time, the client’s website ranked at approximately position 475 in Google Search for what I would consider to be its highest priority keyword. The client’s website also ranked at approximately position 150 for its own brand name, which aside from being a unique brand name, is the name of their website.

After three months of running a series of Facebook promotions and regularly engaging with users, we had grown the base of Facebook fans to 40,000+ strong. The client’s rankings dramatically improved for the two keywords that I mentioned above. With absolutely no SEO work ever done for the website, the ranking for the “high priority” keyword jumped from (approximately) 475 to 135 over the three months. More importantly, after ranking in position 150 for their own brand name, now the client is properly ranked in position 1 (again, in Google Search). This change in rankings helps demonstrate the power of social media, and how it helps search engines determine legitimate search results. What better way for search engines to determine the legitimacy of a website, than by listening to what people say about it? What could be more organic than that?

So get your social media on, and show those search engines who’s boss!

*Tip for Your Facebook Page:

  • In addition to “sharing” industry relevant news that links to other websites, make sure to regularly share links that lead to your website ‘s content, information, etc. If you don’t have any content on your website that’s worthy of sharing on your Facebook page, make some ASAP!

About Sandi Moxley

Sandi Moxley is Associate Manager of SEO and Social Media.