Everyone is jumping on the social media bandwagon and it is affecting the SEO.
Gone are the days of when relevant link building, interesting content and basic website optimization were key to ranking well. Here to stay are the days when user experience and the social Internet plays a vital role for relevancy.
With more and more users embracing the social networks such as FaceBook and Twitter, and blogging becoming more commonplace, search engines have grown to incorporate this social influence into their algorithms. Recognizing the importance of communication across the social networks and the impact users have on influencing opinion of others, search engines have gradually increased the importance of this social content into their rankings.
While inbound links and great content can still get a site ranked well above those sites that are poorly optimized, a great SEO strategy will incorporate and utilize the social networks in addition to basic SEO techniques. Tweets, re-tweets and FaceBook “likes” are likely to show how users perceive the value of information.
The problem comes from promoted content on the social networks making it difficult for search engines such as Google at identifying what can basically come down to purchased “authority” just because of the overall social influence a social media user may have. This can occur when people with “celebrity” status tweets about a product. The chances of people following this social stream will retweet is obviously greater. This is why “celebrity endorsement” advertising on traditional media such as radio and television have long been successful.
Filtering this out from a legitimate user experience becomes difficult. There is little way for the search engines to determine intent of the post or promotion. Deciphering such intent is what separates good SEO from great SEO.
Yes, the social Internet does influence SEO and utilizing the enormous potential of the social Internet in any SEO strategy is a must. However, there has to be a balance approach taken with sound SEO practices (great content, link building) and social promotion.