You probably already know about the impact of your contents in the online search rankings. Until now it was clear how to influence them in order to take some control over your work spreading across the Internet. With that purpose you only had to use apps or plugins according to your needs, or just keep an eye on what you write and how, properly including keywords when necessary.

Since social media have become widespread, what specialists wonder is whether these new online social platforms also influence search rankings. Federico Carasa was one of these experts, and the person who we have to thank the original idea for this post to. Well, Federico, the popular belief is that social media do influence.

In order to prove the social thought, Tasty Placement (SEO specialised company) has developed an easy study focusing on six new websites they created with this purpose. They uploaded contents from 5 out of those 6 sites to Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and got these results:

  1. What influences the most on search engines is a content promoted via a Google+ business page with more than 100 followers in circles.
  2. Secondly, +1 votes in a promoted Google+ content.
  3. Facebook would be the second most important social network, followed by tweets and retweets on Twitter.
  4. Curiously, the number of followers of a Twitter account does not influence as much as we all thought. Time to stop counting followers 😉

The sixth website they created was used as a control. There was no content uploaded from this site to social networks. Do you guess what was the result on SEO? Exactly. There were no changes in the rank.

How to improve your social ranking

Make your content as recent as possible

Recency is the principal feature of social media. Over the last year, many of us knew about a breaking news via, for instance, Twitter. This micro-blogging site has become the first source to know about breaking news for users.

Shaan Haider use this word “recency” to refer to one of the three areas you’ll have to focus in to keep your content up in the search rankings.

Upload frequently to social networks

The second area is what a blogger has already got used to: frequency. This has always been a constant feature in order to influence search engines. From now onwards, you won’t only have to create own content several times a week as a rule, but also upload it as frequent as possible to social networks.

Watch your social influence

This is the third area that Shaan Haide talks us about. It seems the hardest to get but the only thing you have to do is know your audience and give them what they are looking for. The more social your content is (more likes, shares, tweets or retweets), the higher position on search rankings will have. Here are 8 tools to measure and improve your social influence, in case you need them.

Other factors that influences search engines

The kind of content you share on social networks as well as where are they hosted is also crucial to get a better position on Google search ranking. These are the most influencer factors:

1. Images
2. Videos
3. Threads, comments and conversations
4. Blog contents

The future of SEO

Marketing specialists and more and more companies, are very aware of these changes. Expected online advertising investment for 2012 proves it. By 2016 the predicted investment in online ads could reach $77 billion.

The aim? “getting found by users through any medium — not just search engines” (Andy Betts in Search Engine Watch) What will be key from now on is a constant collaboration between SEO, content marketing, social media and technology.

Thoughts from the experience

What follows is a reflection from our contributor on this post, Salvador Puig: a vision based on experience we -Social With It- totally agree with.

Despite the fact that social media does affect our natural web’s rank on Google, there is, without a doubt, a more crucial factor that will determine our position on  search engine results. Let me elaborate.

As long as we work hard on remarkable content to spread across social networks, SEO activities will remain in a secondary level of importance regarding driving traffic to your website.

The study we’ve been talking about was mainly focused on visits coming from social networks but we still don’t know what kind of content they used.

According to our experience, it’s not only the use of social networks what will push your site up in the search engine rankings, but the kind of content we post on those platforms: The better content we upload to social media the higher position we’ll get on Google. In addition, those social platforms will probably turn into our best chance to drive traffic to our site.

Although SEO will be still key on this matter, the amount of visitors coming from an SEO strategy will definitely be smaller than that coming from social networks.

Nowadays, building a community across our brand, service or activity has become crucial in order to interact with both, new and existing customers. Try not to use that social activity with the only purpose of improving your level on Google’s ranking though.

If we check my own website‘s statistics, we’ll got same results: amount of visits from social networks is considerably higher.

Of course, we don’t mean we should forget about SEO. What we think is the best way to act is to develop both strategies and trying to make them work together, focusing social media on giving our communities a real value, something they’ll really need to share. That way, those social actions will probably turn into an improvement on you SEO results, which will be an added value at the end of the day.

This global strategy requires a different way to understand SEO. It’s a challenge we all will have to face as a marketing specialist, blogger or business CEO. Now is the right moment to jump into the ship and row strongly!

Special thanks to Salvador Puig Blog, who had the original idea to write a “PostIn4Hands”, which let us work together in this article.

Yo already know what to do now, don’t you? Follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on the fanpage and LinkedIn Group. I’ll be waiting for you!