How does Social Media affect your Search Rankings?

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The majority of businesses we work with recognise the importance of search engine optimisation, the art of getting your website ranked higher with search engines such as Google. However, many are surprised when one of our first SEO recommendations is to improve their social media presence.

Here’s 5 reasons why it’s so important.

1. Improved Linking Strategy

Firstly let’s be clear, having lots of likes or followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels won’t improve your SEO. Google has said themselves that they do not use this as a signal.

However, when your article or website is shared, it creates increased brand exposure. This attention may lead to others including you in their own online profiles, blogs and websites. Google places value on mentions and links to your website from other quality websites, so this positively impacts on your SEO.

2. Popularity

The increased brand exposure from social media will lead to more people searching for your brand online. It will also result in a higher volume of traffic to your website, a factor that Google considers in its search algorithm.

Therefore, Google will recognise this increase in popularity and place you higher in search rankings as a result.

3. Personalisation

It is natural to value recommendations given to you by friends over those from strangers. With this in mind, activity and reviews from Google+ (Google’s own social media channel) are used by them to personalise search results when a user is signed in.

This means that if one of your Google+ connections has shared a page, it may be ranked higher on the search results page, with a comment underneath that your connection has shared it.

Google+ posts also come up as results themselves:

4. Better Search Real Estate

Another added benefit from good social media is being able to take up more space in search results for your brand keywords. This means less chance for your competitors to sneak on in there.

Check out what happens when we search for “Lorde”.


Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all rank higher than Lorde’s own website, further evidence of how much emphasis Google is placing on social media.

5. Search happens outside of Google

Whilst Google has roughly 65% of the online search market, it is important to consider that users also search for brands and products within the social media channels.

YouTube is the internet’s second biggest search engine, processing 3 billion searches a month. Pinterest has become very popular (particularly with women) as a way to gain inspiration for things like travel, fashion and home decoration. Facebook has just released its new Places directory which is starting to compete against TripAdvisor for online reviews.

How to Get Started

Social media doesn’t need to be scary. Get in touch with Tomahawk to talk about your social media strategy and ideas on how to manage it.