The Social and Search Engine Connection

Your social networks maybe more valuable than you think. Chris Crum on WebProNews recently posted a useful article on how you can apply Facebook and Twitter to your search engine marketing plan, explaining how search engines are now using the social sites in determining organic rankings. Everyone knows social networks are hot, with millions using Twitter and millions more using Facebook, but the connection between search engines and social sites can be confusing. While the Crum article does not give any final answers on how to use the two together, it does posit some interesting points that can help you develop your own strategy.

Google and Social Networks
Google treats Tweeting and posting much like PageRank does, in that the more relevant the content, the more popular it is, the higher it gets ranked. If you get a link re-tweeted 100 times by some big movers and shakers, you can be assured this will affect your search engine ranking and your ranking will grow. If you get a few Tweets by some regular fans, you of course get less of an affect. Facebook works the same way for Google as Twitter, where authority counts – only that wall postings mean nothing. If you get 10 movers posting on your Facebook wall, it will have less of an affect than a regular Facebook post which gets attention. In other words, it is the link sharing that counts for both Twitter and Facebook on Google.

Bing and Social Networks
According to Crum, “Bing decides when links should carry more weight based on the person who re-tweets it.” So this is a more subjective determining of how Tweets and posts will influence your search engine ranking. Essentially it works on the same level as Google: the more clout the person who re-tweets or shares your message, the better it will help your search engine score.

Facebook and Search Engine Rankings
Facebook seems to be second banana when it comes to search engine rankings, but don’t let that stop you from using it. Both Google and Bing admit to using Facebook for search engine rankings. The only problem is that Facebook is not a public interface, where Twitter is. You can only access so much on Facebook. However, with so many more users on Facebook, it is still offers a great deal of sharing potential to spread your message throughout your target audience.

Twitter May be King
Twitter has more public respect from search engines. In the Crum article, Twitter is brought up first, and then Facebook as though to finish the thought. In other words, Twitter is the first place to go if you want to boost your search engine rankings with a social network. You can get immediate buzz on your blog post. Your new product launch may take off when some big movers and shakers tag along. You may even boost your page rank.

The Future of Social Marketing
Despite that fact that both Twitter re-tweets and Facebook share links are no follow, search engines are beginning to see and credit the weight these social sites offer. Google and Bing both looking at these links in determining organic rankings just goes to show that having a strong social presence can benefit your entire internet marketing campaign. As Facebook and Twitter gain more clout with search engines and businesses as real marketing tools, it will be interesting to see where the future of social marketing leads.

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