SEO Hoaxes | Social Shares and Google Ranking

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon
+

What is the relationship between social shares and organic search?

The number of “likes” on Facebook, followers on Twitter or Instagram and the Linkedin shares have definitely an impact on the ranking of websites, but not as we might guess.

Social shares

Confusion or speculation?

Web is full of high-sounding articles of small and large agencies that promise to use “social signals” as factors for improving organic rankings on Google SERP. “It is now established that these factors affect the organic positioning” can be read on a presentation page.
Whether it’s just confusion or pure speculation, in this article I will try to shed light on the issue.

Social engagement as ranking factor

The confusion arises from the fact, according to data, that contents that are well indexed on the Mountain View search engine tend to receive a number of shares on social networks.

 

As written previously on the Google SEO factors list, there is a “correlation but no causal relationship” between the number of likes, followers, social shares and rankings in the search engines.
Matt Cutts (which after 16 years has just left Google in order to work for the Pentagon..) categorically states that the Google algorithm does not take into account the social signals.

 

How to explain?

Probably, the mistake is not considering the most important value for the algorithms of individual social networks: the CTR (Click Through Rate). This value is used both by Twitter, Facebook that by Linkedin to determine the coverage of the post. The metric is very similar to the CTR used by Google, but with obviously different purposes.

 

The misconception here is: is it reasonable to think that the same content, if quality, will have a similar rate of CTR on the different platforms. Consequently, there is a correlation relationship between positioning and spreading since the algorithms take (also) into account of the same metric.

Google vs Facebook vs Twitter: how the algorithms work

What changes between the various players are the reactions to the metrics that are used to determine the award or the deduction of a content. On the social you are rewarded with an increase in coverage and distribution of the post (which can lead to viral content, since the results generate new engagement, creating a loop), on the search engines you are rewarded with an improved ranking.

Google

 

Variables

  • ranking
  • impressions
 

    Actions

  • Click

    • Bounce Rate
    • Avg. Visit Duration
    • Unique visitors
    • Pages/Visits

     

     

    Reaction

    Google will reward with improved positioning the results lower in the SERPs with best CTR, assuming that content to be more relevant for the specific search keywords.

 

Facebook

 

Variables

  • impression
 

Actions

  • Click on link
  • Click on image/video
  • Click on hashtag
  • Click on profile page
  • Comment
  • Like
 

Reaction

Facebook will increase the coverage of the post, making it visible to a larger number of users

 

Twitter

 

Variables

  • impression
 

Actions

  • Click on link
  • Click on image/video
  • Click on hashtag
  • Comment
  • Like
  • Retweet
 

Reaction

Since has adopted the new algorithm for displaying the feed (February 2016), Twitter, like Facebook, will increase the coverage of the post.

 

Conclusions

If we develop a strategy for successful content limited to the social networks, we risk missing the great opportunity to convey those same content on search engines with the same excellent results. And viceversa.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon
+
Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...

No Trackbacks.