I was an English/Journalism major in school. Back then, your main source of news consumption was still the old print newspaper, although some were offered free on the Internet, and from the nightly news. Facebook was a fascinating oddity. MySpace was still relevant, and other social media sites were not even born yet. Social connection was limited back then. There was no tablets or smart phones. The Motorola Razr was the epitomy of cool.
Today there are dozens of ways to stay connected to your friends and to stay in touch with what’s going on around you. With the increase in technology it has helped foster social media into the forefront of our lives. Facebook has become more than just a way to see what your friends are doing. You can check in and see what the specials are at your favorite restaurant, or see if your favorite band has written anything new. MySpace is all but gone now, but Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+, Digg, and Delicious have taken its place. Now I get my news on my phone. I can get it right now. I don’t have to wait until the nightly news or read about it the next day when the news is already old.
What a difference a decade makes…
Social media serves a great purpose in letting you stay connected with your audience, and, also, by helping you get out your message. But how much weight is given to your search engine optimization results?
The short answer is “a bit,” but let’s see what factors search engines look at when determining your social reputation.
Both Google and Bing use content from social networks to extract “social signals” from those networks. One of these signals are your social authority. You can check your authority by looking at your PageRank score for your Twitter page. If you have an above average PageRank authority, links that you post will carry more weight than someone who has a lower PageRank.
*Note – PageRank score shows up differently if you are logged into your Twitter account. So to get a trusted score log out first.
**Note 2 – Search engines have algorithms for Facebook, but have a difficult time determining your authority since not all content is made for public viewing.
Search engines determine your social authority through many factors. They look at how many people you follow and how many follow you. They also associate who you are as a person on the web (i.e. public figures and publishers). Search engines weigh links depending an authority, as well.
Search engines will use your social media authority for display purposes, too, but they won’t be used in the rankings. some results will show “+1s” or “Likes” as an FYI for the user.
Seeing the beginning of this new age of social media to what it has evolved into today shows a great emphasis on how we need to stay connected and informed on what’s going on in our world. Search engines will continue to evolve social media in its search ranking factors.