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Social Signals Which Matter to Search Engines

by SEOIreland

Leading search engines have added social features in the last few years. Now there is talk about using social signals to help determine rank results. The question on everyone’s mind today is, are search engines already using these social signals to determine rankings? Well, it turns out they have been looking at social signals a bit. So, it would not be far off to say that Facebook and Twitter will be used to influence pages and how they rank in web searches.

For those of you who would like to know how data influences regular web searches, you have come to the right place.

Social Search Ranking

Both Bing and Google offer people a way to see results which are shared, written or recommended by friends. This is a different kind of search because it is more personal and it is directly influenced by the people whom the users know. They will be able to see exactly what books their friends are reading, which restaurants they are frequenting and what king of products they are using. It is like getting a personal recommendation from a friend.

Both search engines also offer people a way to see what their friends or networks are sharing real-time on various social networks, be it Twitter or Facebook.

Difference between Social Search and Web Search Ranking

Although they may have some similarities, social search ranking and web search ranking are two completely different things. What happened within these social tools are different from what happens when people do an ordinary web search.  An ordinary web search is when a search engine decide which pages are to be ranked and how they should be ranked from billions of other websites all over the world which are indexed.

Google, for example, uses more than 200 signals which help them determine how to rank pages. Some of the things which they look at are the HTML tag, PageRank and anchor text. There are many other factors and the three we have mentioned are only just examples.

There is one thing which remains unclear though and that is whether social signals are included in the signals. Search engines do not just trust any figure or any website. They have ways of determining if a particular figure can be trusted or not.

Humans vs. Web pages

There are some web pages which are considered more trustworthy than others and there are pages which have better reputation than others.  There are people on the Internet who already have web pages which represent their authority and a good example would be the various social media profiles today such as Twitter and Facebook.

How social media profiles rank

Some people may not see the necessity of creating social media profiles. As a matter of fact, they do not believe that these social media profiles will help but they do, to a certain extent. Take in consideration Twitter. Who you are as a person on Twitter can impact how well your web page does on search results.


Facebook and Social Plugins

by SEOIreland

Traffic from Facebook is quite promising and it has also enticed  millions of sites to create their very own Facebook page and use Facebook like buttons and social plugins. But the question is, is this really true? Can you really get benefits from Facebook? Or is this nothing but just talk?

Fortunately we have figures from Facebook which will help us tell if we should take this notion seriously or just forget about it completely. Let us take a look at the stats and explore.

Media Stats

Sites which are integrated with Facebook have seen an increase of 300% in referral traffic. People who use their Facebook credentials to sign in at The Huffington Post tend to view about 22% more pages and spend more time reading than other people who do not. Users who also use Facebook to connect to spend more than 90% more time reading articles and 85% more time watching videos. Various sites have reported more referral traffic from Facebook.

Commerce Stats

After the Like button was implemented, referral traffic of Levi’s grew by as much as 40 times. Levels have been maintained ever since the Like button was implemented. Within two weeks of adding the Like button, saw an increase in revenue by 100%. Suffice it to say that the Like button has so much power. Quite a handful of companies have benefited from it.

Getting more Likes

It seems that there are ways of getting more Likes on your page. What can you do to increase your Like clicks?

If the Like button appears at the top and bottom of the articles, it will be 5 times more likely to get clicked. If the Like button appears in close proximity to visual contents such as videos and or graphics, there are higher chances of it getting clicked. If you allow people to add comments, your page will have higher chances of getting liked.

Optimizing Facebook

Aside from your very own website, another means of communicating with your prospective customers and current clients is through creating your own Facebook page. Facebook will allow you to keep people updated and showcase your product at the same time. Various tips and techniques have been published to optimize Facebook, so we will add a handful of tips.

Ask questions on your Facebook page. Encourage people to say what they feel and to give feedback. According to research, would gets the most statements. Post questions, trivia and games to encourage participation. Interact with fans and reply to their questions. Be explicit with your posts and make sure that your comments are time-sensitive. Do not wait for a week or two before you reply. This will give a very bad impression to your customers. Always relate to what is going on and use relevant photos and videos whenever possible.

Facebook likes and like buttons on pages and websites helps a lot to promote your site and improve your rankings so be sure that you use them wisely. Competition is stiff nowadays and as much as possible, you would want to get all the possible advantages.