Social SEO - Why Are Social Signals So Important For Search Engines?

Influence of social media marketing on search engine optimization - or better: social SEO - is lively, but unfortunately it is often shaped by many su

The discussion about the influence of social media marketing on search engine optimization - or better: social SEO - is lively, but unfortunately it is often shaped by many subjective impressions. Claims like “SEO is dead” or “Commitment and content are the new SEO” shape the way experts deal with this topic. If you have already dealt with social SEO or new SEO , you have surely come across these messages. But hardly anyone is really sure. So how important is social media marketing for the SEO ranking of your website or blog?

The fact is that, according to the ARD / ZDF online study, 83% of all India Internet users use search engines, mainly Google. In the advertising-relevant target group between 14 and 49 years of age, there are even more. It is also a fact that your search engine marketing should no longer focus solely on OnPage optimization. And backlink marketing in its old form - namely the indiscriminate scattering of links in directories and so-called backlink farms - is obsolete. 

SEO Through Social Signals - Do They Really Matter?

The social signals in SEO (= Social SEO) are mentions in social networks. These can be likes, shares or comments on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, Google's +1 - for obvious reasons of particular importance for Google's search ranking - or communication in blogs or forums. So social media marketing is important for search engine marketing, even more important than ever.

The Search metrics team annually examines the ranking factors for Google and in 2013 the social signals were the determining factors. In the graphic below you can see that 6 of the 10 most important ranking factors belong to the social signals category. Facebook SEO is of particular importance here, as Facebook generates the most engagement in this country. It also happens that 4 of the 6 most important factors are social signals from Facebook.

But why is Google so interested in social signals? We have collected 4 reasons for you that show you why you should rely on the effects of social media for search engine optimization. 

# 1: Viral Is Social - And Viral Is SEO

A viral effect à la Gangnam Style or Harlem Shake is the dream in social media marketing and also the dream of every search engine optimization. With a probability bordering 100% you probably also noticed both effects or at least saw Psy's video. Over 2 billion views on Youtube are an absolute world record for the comedian from South Korea. And this hype was not triggered by video SEO or other on-page or off-page tricks, but by the social networks. Without social media there would be no virality in online marketing. If you type in "Psy" on Google today, the entire first page belongs to the South Korean, only through social signals via YouTube, Facebook and Co.

# 2: Social Media As The Cornerstone Of Local Search

The local search - for example for a fitness studio in Berlin - is also determined by social media. Services like Google My Business determine which companies have a good ranking and which do not. They are based on social media engagement and social media profiles. The range of interactions is growing all the time and ranges from Facebook check-ins to ratings on review portals and Foursquare. All of these are social signals that significantly influence search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

# 3: Personal SEO And Google+

It's no secret that Google spits out personal, individualized results for every search query. Google itself gives the reason for this: They want to provide every user with the most useful and relevant content. This claim by Google makes it clear that, for example, OnPage SEO plays a subordinate role, because it is simply not possible to cover all users equally with keywords on the website. 

But how does Google know what I want? From the social networks, of course. So social media marketing determines how likely Google will bring a user and a company together. And this is where Google+ comes in. You can read practically everywhere that the network is more or less dead, but for pure SEO reasons it is incredibly important. Google's ranking factors are largely based on interactions, connections with friends, and the circles on Google+. Social media engagement and search engine optimization are very closely linked today.

# 4: Search The Social Network Itself

Last but not least, we have another, often neglected reason why social media marketing and search engine optimization are brothers in spirit. SEO is usually associated with Google, and rightly so. After all, almost all online users use the Internet giant for Internet research. But there are also search functions on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Co. that are being used more and more frequently.

The most time on the Internet spend the Indians in social networks. It stands to reason that they also use the search engines there to find out about products, companies or events. Anyone who only relates SEO to Google will therefore miss a lot of potential leads and another trend, because social interactions such as ratings or comments are one of the most important factors in the purchasing decision process of potential consumers.

Conclusion About Social SEO

Social SEO or search engine marketing plus social media marketing are much more closely related than you might think. OnPage optimization is good and important, but nowadays only the absolute basics of SEO. The off-page tactics with link farms or partnerships are not only out of fashion, but also dangerous due to Google's offensive to combat these "machinations".

Social networks - especially Facebook, Google+ and Twitter - determine today whether or not someone can find you on the World Wide Web. And they determine whether you can find the right target group. Search engine optimization has changed fundamentally in the last four to five years and you should consider that in your marketing mix. The mixture of a successful social media strategy and the right search engine marketing or search engine advertising is essential if you want to generate traffic and leads from search engines.

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