Social Signals – can they really help to boost your website’s SEO?

Imagine that you could positively influence your ranking in the search engines with a Like, Retweet, Fave, Pin or Comment.


The possibility that interactions in the social media channels have a positive influence on your ranking in the search engines is a frequently discussed thesis. But what exactly are social signals and why could they be important for your SEO?


Social Signal – What is it?

Social signals are social interactions on social networks and blogs. A very good definition can be found in the Wiki of Ryte. It says:


“According to the general definition of social signals it is communicative and informative signals that provide information either directly or indirectly about social interactions, social emotions, social behaviour and social relationships. In practice, these are likes, shares or comments. Social signals can thus come from social networks or blogs.”


The penultimate sentence sums it up. Likes, faves, shared content, pins and comments are among the social signals. So, you can count all reactions to your content.


Do social signals affect your ranking in the search engines?

Here there are various studies, to which Ryte and also facebook refer. And these are not clear in their results. Causal links are established, but there is no clear evidence. Google itself ranked differently in its Youtube video in 2012 and 2014″ Clearly stated that at this time they have no way to capture signals from Twitter or Facebook.


“As far as doing special specific work to sort these many followers on Twitter or these many likes on Facebook, to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.”


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But is that still the case? The fact is that the interactions on the social networks appear in the search engines. For example, Tweets appear in Google Search. 

There is an impetus for the ranking and Search metrics has also stated in a study that there is a correlation between the two factors social signals and ranking. However, it was not possible to determine how strong these are, as other websites also ranked without the social impulses, according to the marketing manager at Flowerbe.


What are the possibilities? First, you need to create content that readers, fans, and followers can use. This means that content must be relevant to the target groups. Relevant can mean: up-to-date, helpful, entertaining and or informative. Basically, content, whether written, visual or audio, has to benefit the audience. If this is the case, the person is more willing to interact with it. This means leaving a comment, sharing the content, or otherwise recommending it. Especially content that is shared and then backlinked up, in turn ensures a good ranking. Likewise, the recommendation of articles on the social networks, podcast sequences or just the pins on Pinterest for traffic to your own website or blog generate.


The other advantage is that when users act with your content, it pays for your brand awareness. The more often you appear and be called somewhere, the more attention it brings you. And that’s what makes people look even more for you and your content on the web. This, too, can cause your ranking to be positively influenced.


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Especially when you are responsible for the social media of a company, you should discuss with your colleagues who do seo with you. Together, you know best which content is going well or less well, and you can discuss which content should be created in the future with the desired result.


Social signals relevant, though not decisive

The topic of social signals remains relevant. Even if there is no concrete evidence yet that Google & Co takes social media interactions into account for the ranking, you can make sure you benefit from it. You can do this in different ways. For example, by trying to direct the comments from the social networks below the posts on your blog. This is exactly what Google evaluates for your ranking. Also, good content allows you to make sure that you are mentioned as often as possible. Because people are curious and want to know who this person is. This in turn ensures that people subscribe to your newsletters and search for you online. This is how you produce traffic for your site, among other things. You see, on several sub-levels, social signals have an impact on your SEO and your branding.

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