Social Media Signals And SEO Success

It has been debated for quite a while now whether SEO and Social Media have any relationship to one another.

Matt Cutts has specifically said that social signals are not currently part of the Google Algorithm. But is that really true?

I mean let’s think about it.

Social media is playing an ever increasing role in terms of blog post engagement and really has a lot to say about the quality of a post.

Sure, social signals can be gamed a little more easily than a link, but surely they deserve to be used as a metric like any other. Even the more difficult to measure ones like bounce rate or quality.

Social Media is Popular with Businesses

One big argument for using social signals in SEO in my mind is that businesses are now, more than ever, take social media very seriously.

Businesses big and small are participating in social media of all kinds, from Facebok to Instagram and incorporating it into their processes and internal departments. Sometimes not very deeply, perhaps only in the marketing department. Other times it goes across the board, even to customer service. Something that Twitter excels at.

When it becomes more built-in, companies like Coca Cola and Starbucks are using social media more and more creatively, with the TwTweet a Coffee campaign from Starbucks sticking in my mind as one of the more memorable ones. This was an ingenious way to get user retention by allowing friends to gift other friends a coffee. Talk about a viral effect.

So when social media becomes this mainstream, you know that Google has to take a long hard look at what affect it is having on SEO>

Google Plus Is Important

Another important element in this very complex equation is Google’s own participation in the social media game. They have had Google Plus on the go now for a number of years, and it is certainly gaining traction with over 300 million active Google Plus users currently registered.

Google has not stopped there of course. Like with all their other tools, they have incorporated Google plus into search results and until not too long ago, they were even making the blog post author more prominent by displaying a photo. This was more recently removed, but the image still remains (for now) on Google Plus posts that are listed in search results.

So with Google always favoring their own properties over others (there are always Youtube videos in most search results on page one) then you have to think that Google is also taking Google Plus and people’s interaction and engagement on that platform seriously. Even in terms of SEO.

There were a few hiccups lately when the boss of the Google Plus team left (or was pushed?), but for now it is still a social media platform to be reckoned with.


Google claims that social signals are not part of SEO, but logically we all know they must have some influence on the results. It is just a question of to what degree and how exactly this is done.

But the moral of the story is that you should always take Social Media seriously for engagement, post promotion and SEO reasons.

Off Page SEO Factors

The second major part of any SEO campaign that you undertake as a website owner is off page SEO.

Unlike on page seo, off page is mostly outside of your control.


Because you are looking to get links to your site from other powerful sites, that you normally do not own. There are exceptions of course, but most of the time you have little chance to influence this part of the process.

Easy Places to Get Links

Of course there are some websites where you do have a chance to get some links and below I will give you a few ideas to start with.

Social Media Websites

social media channelsThe first and probably most common place is Social Media websites.

For any serious website that you are going to develop, you will also create accounts on related social media websites. For example:

And in many of these cases, if you are also running a business, you can create a specific page on these websites as well. This will further help to strengthen your links from these sites. Especially with Google, because they control the search results in most cases, of course.

Blog Commenting

In most cases the links from these sites will be nofollow (which means that the owner is not passing any of their site’s power to you via a link) but still it is worth getting some bog comment links in your portfolio.

So when you create a new website, I recommend heading out and finding authority websites in your niche and where possible (when they allow website links) add a comment and receive a link to your site in exchange.

This is a heavily spammed technique, so the opportunities are not what they used to be and Google does not encourage them like they used to, but it is still worth having a go.

Web Directories

Another place where you can apply to get a link without knowing the website owner or influencing them in any way is on website directories.

You can look for sites like blog directories or if you have a local business, business directories in your country or area.

These are again places that do not have the power of specific links to your site, but they are worth having a few of in the beginning and give your site a kind of respect from Google.

Direct Links – the Most Powerful

This is what you are really looking for. Direct, in context, keyword relevant anchor text links to your website. However, they are actually quite rare.

Firstly you need to be known and trusted by the person creating the content and the link. Also you need to normally have a name for yourself or at least respected content that someone wants to link to. Both things take quite a look of time to establish but that is in many ways why they are the most difficult and yet powerful types of links. Google also gives them the most influence in the rankings.


One currently very popular way to get these types of links is to create great media like infographics or videos that are on your website.

It does of course take a lot of effort to create these types of media, so again they are rarely used.

But if you want to get a jump start on the competition, then this is a great way to do it.

You could pay someone on Fiverr some money (probably $5) to do a graphic for you, or you could do it yourself if you are good with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator.

But there is another way. There are some easy to use programs on the web that can help you make Infographics without much skill.

One such program is Canva. Canva is a great way in general to create graphics for your blog, especially if you want to include other graphics in that image. THey have a vast library of elements and images you can access to help you along too.

Another option, is a very specific tool for infographics. There are many of them around such as:

  • Picktogram
  • Infogram
  • Visually

And a lot more if you look on Google.

So you really don’t have a reason for not trying this technique.


Link Building or Off Page SEO is the most difficult part of SEO, but it does not have to be.

You can get some links from places that you would not expect or did not think about.

So head out and try some and see if you can rank you pages as a result