An increasing number of likes and shares for your own website? This obviously speaks for the success and quality of the content. But how does Google rate positive feedback on Facebook and co.? The importance of likes and shares is the subject of heated debate among search engine optimizers. Are social signals a ranking factor?
Social signals are actions that refer to websites in social media portals. These include, for example,
Websites profit from positive signals generated on social media platforms: The more the better. However, the rating is not necessarily a ranking factor.
It is well known that SEO is something of a secret science. Google likes to keep its strategies to itself. That’s why many ranking factors – at least officially – are not known. However, SEO experts agree on many aspects. The position of a website in search results depends largely on the following factors:
And what about likes and shares? There is a lot of uncertainty about this among SEO experts. Some experts believe that there is a connection between social signals and the Google ranking of a website.
If it’s true that Google feeds social signals directly into a website’s rating, they might include these aspects:
Here, however, everything is still unclear. In its, guidelines for webmasters, Google consistently recommends creating content for users rather than search engines. And that is undoubtedly the most effective SEO strategy in the long term.
A further argument against the relevance of social media signals is the “nofollow” attribute, which is often set here. The “nofollow” comment in a link code instructs Google crawlers to leave the link out of the rating.
There are actually some studies that show evidence of a correlation between likes and shares on the one hand and clicks on the other (examples: Moz, Searchmetrics). Websites with numerous social signals rank significantly better than websites with fewer mentions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and co. But this is not really surprising. A well-known page will obviously be clicked and shared more often. But a statistical correlation alone does not say anything about causal relationships.
Officially, Google is unforthcoming about the relevance of social signals. But one thing is certain, Google includes visitor reactions and the number of backlinks in its rating. And shares and likes have a bearing on this.
Social signals are most likely not a direct (“hard”) ranking factor. However, they are undoubtedly a powerful catalyst for the presence of a website in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). The more users communicate with each other via a website, the higher the level of attention. And this in turn has consequences that have a direct impact on the ranking.
Social signals within the context of a comprehensive SEO strategy are helpful. Likes, shares and retweets are ranking factors. Direct or indirect? That is anyone’s guess – but today, no company can afford to ignore social networks.
Numerous likes, shares and tweets draw more attention, more visitors and more backlinks (for instance, from bloggers). Social signals therefore improve Google’s ranking, at least indirectly, because they produce the following effects:
1. Brand building
Make a name for yourself. Which channel is better suited than social media these days? Once a brand has established itself, the number of Google searches for it increases.
2. Attention, reach and backlinks
Social media creates synergy effects. The more users talk about the company, the more people will gradually be addressed.
3. Social media presences also rank high on Google
The leading search engine notices popular contributions on Facebook and co. It is therefore important to regularly optimize the social media profiles and link them to the website.
Ideally, a company’s SEO, content and social media strategies should work together.
Whether directly or indirectly – the influence of social signals cannot be denied. This is because:
It is something of an SEO cycle. However, this is based on the old wisdom that quality speaks for itself. Today, “word gets around” in the social networks. Which is why marketing experts rely on Facebook and co. – and partly take over the task of the SEO departments in the same company.
The importance of social media is growing. Even the leading search engine cannot ignore it. Google would not be Google if the company did not exploit the potential of social media. With the help of artificial intelligence it will be possible in the future to better understand identities and relationships between users, enabling the correct classification of feedback on social media. Regardless of whether social signals have a direct or indirect impact on Google’s ranking: Facebook and co. must not be overlooked when developing marketing or SEO strategies.
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Dieser Artikel wurde am 04.September 2019 von Jan Knupper geschrieben.
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