If you have searched specifically for an answer to the question "Does social media help SEO?" let’s start by giving you the quick answer. No, social media signals do not influence SEO directly.
HOWEVER, although having thousands of likes on Facebook won’t make you rank higher there are benefits that do make social media a help to SEO.
The indirect benefit of social media on SEO
This is a really simple but true benefit of social media on SEO. The more people that can see your content the higher chance you have of generating natural links which brings SEO growth.
For example, if your page is shared 200 times and seen by 5,000 people it will be seen by a percentage of people (around 1%) who have the power to link to your page from their website. That’s 50 people who have seen your webpage who could potentially link to it.
So the more people that share, follow and interact socially with your content the more chance of influences seeing it and linking to you.
The direct benefit of social media on SEO
The web is an almost infinite public library packed with content and no filing system. Google gathers pages during crawl processes and then creates an index, so we can discover pages quicker. This process can prove to be rather tedious with the amount of content production 24/7.
Content indexation is imperative for SEO as the quicker you can get content indexed, the quicker you’ll get rewarded via your site’s organic traffic.
With the aid of social media, particularly Twitter, you can cut the time it takes Google to find and index your content.
Something else to consider…
More and more companies are turning to an inbound marketing approach, combining SEO, social media, marketing automation and content marketing. A key part of the inbound marketing approach is getting your content visited so you can capture people at the top end of the sales funnel, social media plays a big part in the success of this (where inbound marketing is about providing informative content, social media is about promoting that content).
How it could work in the future…
Google ranks websites higher if it know they are credible source, this credibility is decided by the quality, relevance and quantity of links to your site. Google could also consider social media influence as part of the credibility ‘scoring’.
The challenge with doing this is social media signals are very easy to manipulate (even more so than links) and search engines would have little control over the platforms (Facebook and Twitter) which would massively influence their algorithm. For these reasons we don’t see social media signals have a direct impact on rankings in the near future.
Are you aware of the competition? Do you know if they have a social media prescence? Rank your efforts today with our FREE tool: