How Your Social Media Habits May Affect Your SEO

BlogHer Original Post

You might be surprised to learn that your social signals, or, how effective you are in social media, is playing an increasingly important role in your search engine optimization.

social signals and sep
Social and SEO images from Cristiano Betta and Laine Griffin

Social signals

The last couple of rounds of algorithm updates have focused largely on measuring social signals, or, connections that brands have made with their followers. Basically, they are looking to see how many times something you have posted has been shared, tweeted, pinned, +1’d, shared again, re-tweeted, etc. As far as search engines are concerned, the more social signals you have earned, the better your content is, and the more authority you gain. Social signals are beginning to replace links as the queen of SEO. (Although traditional link building is still important and content will always be king, right?!) Essentially, at least for Google, they are recognizing it is harder to create great content and get it shared than it is to simply trade links, otherwise known as “link love.” When search engines analyze and rank data based on how many times it is liked, shared, pinned, or tweeted, we are getting user selected content. We can think of it as a human endorsement rather than just a mathematical algorithm telling you what you should read or believe.This is a good thing!

Social media logosSocial media logos (Photo credit: macloo)

I want human endorsement! What do I do?

  • On your blog or website, make sure your connect and share buttons are obvious.
  • Include strong calls to action or ask engaging questions at the end of blog posts or other social media posts, and encourage readers to share and get their connections involved too.
  • Create short, sharable content, like infographics and memes that can easily be re-posted or shared quickly.
  • Interact and create connections not only with potential clients/readers, but also with other industry leaders. Make thoughtful comments on their content, and share it, and they will likely return the favor.
  • Employ media! Vlog. Podcast. YouTube. iTunes. Need I say more?
  • Keep generating great content, analyzing tactics, and replicating or improving on them, and remember that this takes time!


I believe considering social media in terms of SEO just brings us a new way to think about our marketing, branding, and converting efforts we should already have in place. We have known social media is increasingly important. We have known how to engage, and we have known how to encourage people to share our content. Now we know why it is becoming increasingly important, and how to continue to push ourselves in the right direction. What’s left? Actually DOING it!

For more useful and easy to understand SEO information, see my previous two posts, Getting Started with SEO: Some Basic Principles, and Basic SEO for Images, Videos, Vlogs, and Podcasts.


How do you plan to increase your social signals and improve your SEO?

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Laine blogs, and creates awesome WordPress customizations


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