Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO?

by on April 13, 2009

social_media_mlmFacebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Technorati – social media tools are swarming the net, becoming the main way to get in touch, keep in touch, socialize and monetize.

On places like Twitter, individuals and businesses alike have begun posting links to their blogs, sites and articles.  LinkedIn has a way to plug into your blog so once you post, it shows on your LinkedIn profile.  With Digg you can have a link back to an article on your site, or on an article directory, etc.  In other words, you can have a website, a blog and ten social media accounts, and have them all leading to each other.

The question arises, however: does all this do any good for search engine optimization?  And if it does, how much good does it do?

In reality, social media is just another part of marketing.  One of the reasons why so many businesses use the social media tools is because they realized very quickly that these tools give them the ability to talk to their customers.  In addition, these tools allow business individuals to reach likeminded professionals, make business contacts and any other kind of socializing you can imagine.

All this socializing does have some benefits for optimization, but perhaps not in the way you think it does.  Thousands of people post links on Twitter, for example, thinking that these posts will link back to their site, and raise PageRank and search engine results positioning.  However, Twitter specifically has a “no follow” for your links, which means that the search engine crawlers won’t follow the link back to your site; in other words, the links themselves have no optimization value.

Now, people are selling eBooks on how to gain followers and whatnot, pushing all the benefits and making the buyers think this book will grow their business, but how does social media work for site optimization, PageRank and SERPs?

1.    You post your links.
2.    People (not search engines) follow those links and read what you’ve written/posted.
3.    Of those people who liked your post/article/idea, some will talk about it and add a link to your site where the information is.
4.    The new links will generally have a “follow all” tag, telling the crawlers to follow them.
5.    Those inbound links will bring in organic traffic and add authority to your site, which, in turn, will raise your search engine result positioning and PageRank.

All in all, social media is like MLM (multi-level marketing):

You post ten links with no results on PageRank, placement or anything else; you may as well have thrown them into the wide unknown.  However, five people read your links and re-post (or link back) to those ten posts, and you now have fifty (free!) back links (not reciprocal!) leading to your site.  Five other people find those re-posts and re-post again – 250 back links, plus the original 50, adds up to a whopping 300 links leading back to your site.

All those links will normally be posted on sites relevant to your site, which gives your site authority, which raises your PageRank.  All that traffic and the resulting commentary can raise your positioning in the SERPS.

So – while social media in and of itself isn’t that helpful with SEO, the resulting links are.  How do you get people to repost, comment and write about your site, article, blog, etc?  That’s another blog entirely!



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Valeria August 8, 2012 at 3:35 am

Many businesses now have a Twitter account, MySpace account, or another social media tool they use to attract and maintain business. What value do social media offer for professional use? How has your commercial behavior been affected by social media?
hosted pbx Chilliwack

Reply

Gabriella August 9, 2012 at 5:31 am

Hello Valeria, SM is not beneficial to all companies, however when it does make sense (depends on several factors that need to be assessed prior to taking/recommending a campaign) then there are many benefits. Some benefits that come to mind, a company can establish their authority in a certain niche, they can respond directly to customer service issues, they can nurture a community, etc. The most apparent benefit for Level343 has been our growth in traffic including established our authority on Organic SEO, online marketing, branding, and being well versed in the ever evolving social media networks.

Reply

Dan Garrison July 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

Social media is just one of many ways to get your business going across the online marketing sphere. Given the SEO package a business chooses, they can develop more precise leads through social media which may direct them to email marketing campaigns, provide data for phone tracking/messaging services, and other good leads. Let’s just hope social media doesn’t balloon into hundreds of “it” companies, because than the whole feature will be lost. Virtual PBX

Reply

Kobrien June 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

Even though most links to YouTube, Facebook, and more often than not, Twitter, all use no follow guidelines, I think they are just as important and relevant with online marketing. Besides, it’s a fast and effective way to get your business out there, no matter how annoying repeated posts may start to become to your followers.

SEO Kansas City

Reply

Sourav Agarwal, Senior content writer October 22, 2010 at 5:49 am

A great post to make the inexperienced SEO personnel realize the importance of social media tools in SEO…..

Reply

Shelly Kramer December 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Fabulous post, Gabi, and spot-on. Bottom line, content is king – and getting people interested enough in you and the content you generate is also king. Engagement matters. Relationship matters. Investment of time in the social media realms matter.

Heart you babycakes – great job (as always)!

Shelly

Reply

SEO Miami August 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

For me, Social media have really a great breakthrough for the past years..
So I'm not surprise that it is use for advertising blog, article, site etc…
But how long it will last..?But I think SEO is always effective..

Reply

Jahnelle Pittman April 27, 2009 at 8:32 am

Hey Gabriella – followed the trackback you allowed; seems some people have a problem with the whole idea of Social Media being compared to MLM. Looks like a toss up – should it be called MLM, SMM (Social Media Marketing) or Viral Marketing? Although it seems idiotic to me to worry about the title of the thing rather than the purpose of the article – is SM relevant to SEO and if so, how – I had to comment anyway.

For those that don’t know, Social Media Marketing is connecting directly to the consumer. Businesses using SMM have the opportunity to say directly “this is what we can do for you” and have the consumer respond with “that’s great” or “what about this…?”.

Now let’s think about how MLM works. How many people HAVEN’T looked at at least one MLM program and seen the “sign up and then tell all your friends, family members, etc, etc”? Remember that, and then think back to how many tweets you’ve seen that went something like this:

RT @ RT @ RT @ tiny url RT please

So, somebody posted an article and asked to be RT’d. So they tell their friends, family members, etc, and it goes down the line.

So, is it MLM? Viral marketing? SMMLM? SM? Who knows the proper terminology? To my mind, who cares about the proper terminology? It works, and that’s the point.

Reply

Sean Hecking April 22, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Gabriella,

I like how you called out MLM graphically and the complexities of social marketing. You are right on about gaining search engine value through word of mouth, WOM. I think a lot of marketers need to look past the first level to understand the SEO benefit of social networks. When it comes down to it, the most powerful form of marketing is the referral. What better way to gain loyal visitors than to have WOM do the work.

Reply

Gabriella April 23, 2009 at 6:10 am

Exactamundo…The only thing is how do you get them there to begin with. Small steps, patience, and great information. Hey thanks I appreciate the support believe it or not Sean it’s people like you that keep me going.

Reply

Comment Guidelines: The comment form must be filled in with an actual name. This blog is actively moderated, and comments with keyword names will be deleted. We reserve the right to edit or delete any comments using keywords, spam or splog-like URLs, or suspicious information in the comment form.


Linking Guidelines: We welcome links that encourage and continue conversation, such as links to related blog pages. If you've written about (or read elsewhere) the article topic and feel the piece would enhance ours, please, do share. Again, this blog is actively moderated. If we come across a link we don't feel enhances the conversation, we'll simply unlink it.

Leave a Comment

{ 29 trackbacks }

  • Are Social Media Tools Relevant 2 SEO? www.level343.com Jus hate the comparison 2 MLM! 2 me SMM it’s mor viral than MLM - Twitoaster

    [...] 14, 2009 Are Social Media Tools Relevant 2 SEO? http://www.level343.com/article_archive/... Jus hate the comparison 2 MLM! 2 me SMM it's mor viral than MLM [...]

  • Level-343 Team

    does all this do any good for search engine optimization? And if it does, how much good does it do? http://ow.ly/cWGZ

  • Level-343 Team

    So – while social media in and of itself isn’t that helpful with SEO, the resulting links are. http://ow.ly/cZVk

  • Level-343 Team

    level343 So – while social media in and of itself isn’t that helpful with SEO, the resulting links are. http://ow.ly/d5Lm

  • Level-343 Team

    does all this do any good for search engine optimization? And if it does, how much good does it do? http://ow.ly/d5Lq

  • Gabriella Sannino 

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? In reality, social media is just another part of marketing. http://ow.ly/gce5

  • Arun Kamoji

    RT @SEOcopy: Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? In reality, social media is just another part of marketing. http://ow.ly/gce5

  • Gabriella Sannino 

    @KaraSwims- we have written a few articles that may give you great bullets to change their minds...here is one http://bit.ly/18x4Wm

  • Trish Davis

    RT @tweetmeme Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? | Level343 Articles http://bit.ly/4oZcIp

  • Don Sedota

    RT @tweetmeme Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? | Level343 Articles http://bit.ly/4oZcIp [enlightening]

  • F. Jay Hall

    RT @SEOcopy: RT @level343 Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://bit.ly/4oZcIp

  • Level-343 Team

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://ht.ly/34r28 - Well are they?

  • tc

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/xNPt7y0 via @level343

  • ballpark_89

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/xNPt7y0 via @level343

  • Level-343 Team

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HoWNtLB

  • Level-343 Team

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HoWNtLB - well are they?

  • WebPro Technologies

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/InOLcUJ via @level343

  • Terry Van Horne

    RT @level343: Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://bit.ly/eVq1Lx - well are they?

  • Pilar Verduga

    RT @level343: Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HoWNtLB - well are they?

  • Level-343 Team

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HoWNtLB All in all, social media is like MLM (multi-level marketing)

  • Gabriella Sannino 

    Some things are perfect. #organicSEO & #relevance rocks. - Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HmBsQDx - buona notte

  • Ruud Hein

    Some things are perfect. #organicSEO & #relevance rocks. - Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/HmBsQDx - buona notte

  • Blogging Lessons Learned: My 7 Links

    [...] Lesson:Don’t be afraid to try new ways to get your thought across.2) Our Most Popular PostAre Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO?Why?Although it was posted in 2009, Social Media Tools has [...]

  • John Doe

    You Learn Something Everyday... Here is a subject all of us are interested in. Take a look, you'll learn something...

  • Gabriella Sannino

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/VCsQJBXM | Still our number one post...Enjoy

  • Umberto Pellegrini

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/VCsQJBXM | Still our number one post...Enjoy

  • Adm1n Related Stuff

    #RT RT @SEOcopy: Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/BuuUivBr | Still our number one post...Enjoy http://t.co/hU0fRj58

  • miguel ferrer piera

    Are Social Media Tools Relevant to SEO? http://t.co/He69G3Qf #SocialMedia #Seo

  • Design & Promote

    Do links to your website on social media help with SEO? - Yes http://t.co/NNq6osy1