Do search engine rankings (SE) really depend on social media activities?
Last year rumors started about Google taking social media activities and their results to rank sites higher. I thought OMG, I never liked the hype around social media, never really implemented them in my “online strategy”. So what would happen to my sites?!
I’ve always felt overwhelmed with all the likes and shares, comments, tweets and hashtags. Frustrated by most of the irrelevant stuff shared online, I just don’t have the time to spend hours sharing, commenting, searching for new content or videos, and posting all that on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, you name it.
Re-purposing content or, as many people do it online, sharing the same content again, could have been a option. Another option could have been outsourcing to virtual assistants (VAs). Personally, I don’t like any of them. So what to do?
SE rankings and social media
I did the opposite. I completely stopped working on 2 of my sites, and stopped all the liking, sharing, tweeting etc. Guess what happened? Basically, nothing, watch this:
This screenshot was taken today, as I’m writing this post.
Social media or what made me truly loose rankings
Truth is, I lost rankings for many other keywords with Google’s ongoing algorithm changes. Why? Because I did not go after those search engine updates and applied them on my sites.
But I don’t think it was because of my social media “inactivity”.
Looking back, the latest change with Phantom III content quality update was said to be a core ranking algorithm update. You can read more about that here. Throughout this year you’ve heard experts say “content is king”. I think that good content is really what makes a difference in our crowded online world. Not re-purposed, not re-used, but good content that helps online entrepreneurs move in the right direction.
What do Google say about rankings and social media
There are many contradicting information out there about Google crawling and indexing social media pages. In older videos Cutts said that social media is not a ranking factor. Watch what he says in this one:
And now, from the good old days back to the here and now.
Social SEO – what is it and why to pay attention to that?
Seomark nailed it down:
“The crossover between the two is called social SEO and the purpose of it is to use social media to improve your business’s search engine rankings.”
… and more importantly:
“You can get good rankings by paying no attention at all to social SEO, but you can’t rank your business’s website through social SEO alone. So, why bother with social SEO then, if it’s not essential? Because positive social activity around your website makes it easier/faster to rank your site in search engines – directly through the authority that search engines give to Likes, Tweets and Google +1s, and indirectly through exposing your content to a wider audience, some of whom will link to it from their own sites.”