We are more than half way through 2012. So, this makes it a good time to see how all things social and SEO are coming together. At the end of last year, it was clear. Some day, search engine rankings were going to be affected by social links. Why is it, in the thick of battle, it seems like nothing happens fast enough. But, when we look back on it, all seems to have happened so fast?
Here is where we stand today:
Facebook – The big daddy of social didn’t want to play with the big daddy of search. So, for now, the only SEO affect you will find from Facebook that we have found is that it can be part of your brand assets in search. i.e., it takes up a position in the rankings for your brand name. This is a good thing. Just not much of a big deal.
Twitter – The little blue bird is out changing the news world. Like Facebook, it too, can take up a position in brand search. But unlike Facebook, Twitter is not feuding with Google. It is possible for “retweets” and tweets from others that include your URL may be getting counted as inbound links – and this makes sense; people do not tend to share things unless they think they are important. This is why the links you use in your tweets should be to your own website!
Google Plus – Google is not winning any popularity contests in the world of social from both consumers or business. But lately, businesses from small to large have been setting up pages here. Part of this reason is surely because of the change Google made in the Spring when they rolled “Local” into their Plus world. To be found in local search, and who wouldn’t want to, a business must have a Plus page. Personally, I think this is brilliant. Sure, it is slow going right now. But in a few years when Google pretty much owns the world of reviews and the world of local search, everything will be neat and tidy in one place. Additionally, as you begin to +1 things that you like on the web, that citation is going to show up for people who are in a “social circle.” No doubt, Google is going to do everything it can to keep ahold of its search juggernaut while juggling all of the possibilities of search and another little trend out there known as mobile.
YouTube – Since the beginning, Google has now toned down its use of YouTube videos in search. But chances are you will see at least one YouTube video in every other search you do. Wouldn’t you like to score one of those spots? We just did a post about that exact subject recently!
Linked In – This venerable business networking site provides no SEO value that we have been able to uncover other than the branding each and every ancillary web site offers.
Pinterest – The new darling on the block currently provides no SEO value that we can think of. But this, of course, makes me think about another recent post we wrote warning you about not having enough referral sources and counting on your google results too much!
Digg, StumbleUpon and all the rest – There are literally hundreds of other social networking sites. These two tagging sites stand the best chance of meaning something for SEO in the future but so far nothing like that has been realized yet. But again, not all value of effort should be measured in its SEO effectiveness. You must spend an equal effort on having good search rankings and developing sources of traffic other than search.