Social: The New SEO?

Likely, when one thinks of search engine optimization, they think of things like link building, keyword-optimized blogs, and creating relevant, quality content. And for any good, effective SEO campaign, all of these qualities are certainly important. Search engines, and especially Google’s algorithms, have become increasingly more and more resistant to bad content that is created solely for the purpose of arbitrarily bumping search engine rankings.

And yet, with the addition of things like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to the social world, rankings in popular search engines — particularly with Google+ — have become increasingly predicated upon the prevalence of social media. Now, more and more businesses are turning to social media (and particularly Google+) to provide better rankings for their businesses through search engines. Here’s a few reasons:

+1 Matters

Google, with its recent search engine update, began aggregating its search engine results with Google+ results. What that has meant for brands and businesses is that those that are active on Google+ often get boosted search results, and any of their recent discussions or posts through the now-ubiquitous social network also get a hefty dose of boostage (not a word, I know).

What that has resulted in is more and more people flocking towards Google’s social network in an effort to stake their claim in the gold-rush that is Google’s new social search rankings. Just as the ‘like’ button became the Internet’s de-facto way to spread information through Facebook’s social network, so too has Google’s +1 button become the go-to alternative for businesses that want to increase their rankings on Google’s social and search engines.

Social Is Instant and Relevant

Additionally, social media has proven time and time again that it doesn’t only have the capability of providing timely information to people, but it can also provide breaking information. This is important for brands because commenting on new or relevant information is often a growing, organic conversation.

Google, with its inclusion of social rankings, will undoubtedly become more and more reticent of that sort of information. Information like new products and breaking stories will all become part of the constantly sweeping whirlwind that is social media. Search engines will soon reflect trending topics and conversations, and social media is often the easiest, fastest way to become part of those conversations.

People Like What Their Friends Like

Another important, and final factor to consider is that social media inherently appeals to what motivates us to make the decisions that we make and like the things that we like: The social factor. We are naturally driven to trust our friends to like the things that they like and the products that they buy, because, well, we (typically) trust our friends.

And by being active and involved through social media, brands and businesses will thus become more involved with users who have friends, and those friends will become involved with those brands, etc. etc. Of course, those brands and businesses who are involved on Google+ and other social networks will be increasingly pushed to the top of due of search results. Social media (if it isn’t already) will soon become an incredibly important part most search engine optimization campaigns.

Right now, search engine optimization is still driven by relevant, quality content. But soon, it will be equally if not more important that that content is also something that appeals to individuals through social networking. Content that becomes viral will win out in the long run, and those brands and businesses that successfully utilize social media will also win out in SEO.

Does your SEO strategy include social media?