Does social media help your SEO?

SEO can be a confusing subject with so many different rumours and myths about what helps and what doesn't.

We've noticed a lot of social media consultants have started to claim that their services are good for the SEO of your website. Is this true?

Well, it's a tricky one. You can never really say for definite what will help your SEO because there are so many variables, and the search engines never divulge the details of how their rankings work.

So there's no quick answer.

We can make some educated judgements though.

Is the existence of social media accounts going to help?

You could just sign up for a Facebook account, Twitter account, etc. Will this help?

Let's think about it from the search engines' point of view. Is a website run by a company with social media accounts going to be a better result than a website run by a company with no social media accounts?

I'd argue that the answer is no. It doesn't reflect on the quality of the website.

What about social media accounts with fancy bespoke profile designs?

Again, whilst this demonstrates taking an interest in online marketing, it doesn't suggest a strong enough link to quality content to me.

OK, so actively posting content (tweets, etc), will that help?

Well, that is content, so maybe that counts.

But then again, the whole nature of social media posts is that it's actually lots of conversations. Conversations are not really "quality content" per se. If they were, you'd see lots of persistent indexing of tweets and posts.

Admittedly, Google goes through fazes of indexing tweets, but these are recent tweets, they are not stored indefinitely like your website pages.

So again, I'd argue that even if this did count towards your SEO, it would be such a weak factor that SEO shouldn't even be a consideration.

Well, what about posting links to your website? We all know that the search engines love websites with lots of links to them.

Unfortunately, even though the quantity of inbound links is a known ranking factor, the quality of each inbound link is a much more important factor. And links from social media just aren't very high quality.

After all, it's so easy to fake it because you can spend all day long posting links to your own website. And you can easily create hundreds of fake accounts pretending to be third parties linking to your website.

It's just as easy to abuse it as it is to abuse the keywords meta tag. And the keywords meta tag has been dropped from the ranking algorithms completely.

I'd argue that this is largely worthless too.

So overall, just logically, social media can be shown to have very little, if any, direct positive impact on your SEO.

But don't let this stop you from embarking on a social media campaign. Social media can be a great marketing tool in itself. And, because of this, it can definitely help your SEO indirectly.

Popular websites find it much easier to acquire inbound links to their websites than largely unknown websites. And that is good for your SEO.

Blogging is often an important part of a social media campaign, and that can have very good effects on your SEO too.

But, in short, social media has nothing to do with SEO directly, and anybody who tries to tell you otherwise (without explaining exactly what they mean like we have here) is likely to be a bit of a cowboy.

OpenGlobal can help you with a wide range of online marketing strategies, but we believe in using an honest approach. No buzzwords, no gimmicks and no trying to bamboozle people into something they don't understand. If you'd like the honest approach, contact OpenGlobal today on 0845 269 9624.