Is Social Media the Future of Search Ranking and SEO?

Is Social Media the Future of Search Ranking and SEO?Tom Maxwell, a member of the LockerGnome community, asks:

Does SEO help search ranking?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of methods used by content creators to help improve their ranking on various search engines including Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Having a higher search ranking means that people searching for a specific topic will be more likely to see your content before anyone else.

Doing things like giving your content specific titles, using keywords, and frequently searched phrases in the body of the page, and maintaining a set of standards across your site are great ways to start with SEO.

More recently, search engines like Google and Bing have started to use social media as part of their search algorithms. Are people sharing your content? Has someone you associate with on Google+ or Facebook shared a specific link related to the subject you’re searching for? These may very well be the biggest factors in ranking a site moving forward.

For example, if you’re logged in to Google and have a Google+ or Gmail account, Google will display any related links shared by your contacts through Google+. By doing so, Google is taking a guess that you may be more interested in one link over another based on the people who you associate with and trust. In a sense, your friends become part of the Google search algorithm, making everyone’s search experience unique to them.

Bing and Yahoo! are exploring the same basic options using other social networks, and this is expected to increase as time goes on and more content is distributed across social media.

This means that if you’re considering implementing an SEO strategy on your site, it would be wise to take this into account. In addition to using creative titles for blog posts, keywords, and other more traditional SEO strategies, it will be equally important to add links that enable your users to easily share and recommend the page to their friends through various social networks. The short-term impact of a shared link, combined with the long-term search ranking benefit, makes this a difficult and vital component to a greater SEO strategy.