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The Social Influence On Search: Insights From SMX London

SMX LondonThere's a great deal of speculation in the SEO community on the influence that social media has on the overall ranking/indexing on search engines. Most SEO experts believe that though Google and Bing have both denied any impact on the “natural selection” algorithm, there is great likelihood that social media has a part in the process.

The number of likes, tweets, pins, +1's, and shares should, to an extent, influence the indexing. John Mueller (Google) and Duane Forrester (Bing) recently responded to these uncertainties during the London SMX that took place on the 13th May 2014. Although their explanations still maintained social media activities are not part of the ranking reckoning, they did provide useful insights on possible influence. This is how they broke it down:

Definite Reasons for Likes/Tweets/Pins/+1's/Shares

Both Bing and Google explained that there has to be a definite reason why people would share, tweet or like a given page in larger numbers. This naturally attracts the search engines attention which they maintain is purposefully for evaluation meaning; the system will be interested in the content in these pages.

If the content is relevant, there is a great chance of a higher ranking for the pages. This is a basic explanation to address how social media can influence ranking. It is acceptable that where there are more shares, likes, pins, tweets and related socail activities, people must be to some extent realizing usefulness and search will close down on the same. In simple terms, more social activities combined with information relevance may increase your rankings.

Links & Socail Signals: Evaluation Mechanism

Usually Google and Bing rank sites that have been evaluated and determined to provide useful and relevant information according to the search. The two greatest search engines explained how social indicators are used in link evaluations rather than ranking. When webpage content receives a lot of social activity, it should be obvious that some people will make links to that content and include them in their sites/blogs or pages permanently.

This reshapes the idea behind links and introduces a new definition as well as evaluation, which search engines use to evaluate “credibility” and actions taken may include penalization. What this means is that a new content with over 100 links should exhibit correspondence in the number of shares it receives.

If say it only gets three shares, that situation would arguably be very abnormal insinuating less relevance and subsequent low rating. If it receives 1000 social shares on the other hand, that makes more sense and could influence indexing although this was not proclaimed in the event.

Conclusion

For any keen SEO expert, social indicators certainly do have an indirect influence on indexing which is entirely aimed at providing the most relevant and informational result as per the search. Search engines use social media to some extent in determining how quick content is indexed and whether the permanent links pointing to such content are valid.

However in conclusion, social media does not form part of the search engine algorithm, bet rather content relevancy and links still remains the strongest consideration.

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