Social Media has been around for years now. If part of your SEO plan doesn’t include optimizing for Social Media, you can’t be considered a relevant SEO in 2011. Ok, enough skills bashing, Social Media is a great way to build links if you use it the right way. Like all things, Social Media link building should be done in moderation (you’ve got to look somewhat natural to Google). Posting a link to your profile every 30 seconds isn’t link building.
The biggest and most important thing Social Media does for link building is enhance Google’s philosophy of “build great content that people want to link to”. Just building great content and having people link to it is sort of like creating a Utopian society, it works great in theory. Social Media allows you to promote great content and increase your chances of getting that beautiful, warm, loving, natural link. If you can get an “influencer” to retweet or tweet about your post, you’ve definitely given yourself the best chance to reach Google’s Utopian philosophy.
Common knowledge is that Google uses Twitter and Bing uses Facebook for their cues. It is my belief that the major search engines can get cues from any medium of social media, some search engines just get more information than others. Google is actively paying Twitter for their social information. What an SEO can read from that is that Google wants to know what’s trending, where links are pointing, and what influences peoples tweets/retweets… Microsoft does the same with Facebook, but don’t get caught thinking these mediums are mutually exclusive.
Want to get a piece of link bait to bombard Google with cues? Post it to Twitter, get tons of retweets, get lots of clicks to your link, and watch your importance for those keywords rise. It’s imperative that your link bait has the option to share via a link on your page. Google can certainly read those sharing links and get a feel for how popular people think it is. Getting lots of tweets and likes will bump your authority level up.
For the short-cut SEO simply wanting a bunch of easy links, just go through as many social sites as possible and set up an account. Link back to your website in your accounts profile. I’m sure you’re aware that social media is no-follow, but don’t get influenced by this. Just because a link is tagged no-follow doesn’t mean it won’t help. A no-follow link from social media sites can be better than lots of links you might find elsewhere.
To be successful in Social Media, you have to contribute. Don’t spam peoples news feeds. Don’t sell at people. Just be a good, thoughtful, and active contributor to your social strata. Creating links comes from being known as an authority on a subject and being a solid contributor. Who do you think would create more links about basketball via social, Michael Jordan or Mike Washington? Don’t know who Mike Washington is (I don’t either)? Then you know the answer to my question. You’ve got to create something that Michael Jordan would want to share… that’s where true work and creativity come to play. Given recent Google algorithm updates, a plan to build links via Social Media is more important than ever. Are you building links with social?
Sam Page is the owner of Tipping Point SEO in Lewisville, TX. He has been optimizing for today’s Social Media since 2004 and been doing SEO since 2006. He is known for his work in the utility truck industry, specifically bucket trucks. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @TippingPointSEO .