How Social Media Affects Website Search Rankings
If you run a website, you know how important search engine rankings can be. Getting your site on the first page of Google can bring in widespread awareness of your cause/product/service, or an influx of new customers.
There’s more to a high Google ranking than just optimizing your website for certain keywords. Social media can both really help or really hurt your your ranking, according to TastyPlacement, who have done a little testing to see how much Google+, Facebook, and Twitter actually affect search results.
In a nutshell, TastyPlacement created six websites based in six US cities. They let them be for ten months, and then began testing various social networks for each site, focusing on the following for five of the websites:
- Twitter followers
- Tweets and retweets
- Facebook shares and likes
- Followers to the site’s Google+ business page
- Google +1 votes to the homepage
(The sixth site was left as-is for a control test.)
They promoted these websites using the particular social network chosen for one month, and then measured how each site’s search engine ranking changed for a set of keywords.
So how did social media influence the search results?
Overall, the websites’ search rankings changed by between a fall of 1.22 to a rise of 14.63. So, social media does affect search results.
Google’s own properties yielded the best results by far (let the conspiracy theories roll through…)
The website that was linked to a Google+ business page saw a full 14.63 rise in its search position, while the website that had a Google+ +1 button rose 9.44.
And these stellar results, sadly, did not translate to Twitter. Targeting tweets and retweets only got the website a 2.88 rise in Google’s search results, and procuring 1,000 additional Twitter followers actually caused another site’s position to fall by 1.22. (Didn’t Google try to buy Twitter a while ago? May more conspiracy theories roll through..)