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Social media is growing increasingly important to your SEO. Back in the 90s and early 2000s SEO strategies were focused around link building and social media was not yet a powerful tool in marketing sites. Today SEO is much different, but the idea of link building still remains the same – it’s just used differently.
Link building is all about raising the popularity of your site. As we mentioned in answer to the question “What are backlinks and how are they used?” each time someone clicks a link to your site, the search engines see this as a positive “vote”.
Social media takes this voting system to a whole new level. When someone is directed to your site through a link from one of your social media posts, the search engines take notice and with the popularity of social mediatoday, you can create more loyal “clickers” than ever before.
Because unscrupulous webmasters can pay for fake site visitors by the thousands not all clicks to your site are ranked the same way. As more and more people started using third parties to get fake clicks on their site, Google had to redefine what it meant for a site to be “popular”. If Google was going to let sites rank according to how many hits they got, it would mean that big companies would be able to pay thousands for fake hits in order to rank highest in the search engines. For this reason Google now ranks the quality of links.
What are the highest ranking links? Social media sites have climbed to the top of the list of link “votes”. The more interaction you get on your site from social media links, the more popular your site is going to be.
That’s not to say that site-to-site link building is dead. It’s still a valuable tool in bringing customers to your website, but it certainly isn’t the only game in town anymore. When it comes to link building there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You want to have backlinks from reputable sites that you have good relationships with.
In addition to the traffic that can come from your social media and boost your ranking, Google also keeps track of other “social signals”. How often you post content on your social channels will determine their popularity as well. The more you interact with people on your social media sites, the more often people will visit your site and the greater number of followers and fans you’ll be able to collect.
The strength of your social media presence will directly affect your ranking. Many backlinks you set up with other sites will never create the conversion you’re looking for. Social media links do just the opposite. They have unlimited potential to reach real people and bring them to your website. These are the people who are your next valued customers.
The bottom line is that social media sites are a fantastic source from which to drive traffic. If you want to be in the running for top rankings you should be using this powerful SEO tool. Those who don’t are far from reaching their site’s potential.