With the popularity of social media skyrocketing for the past 10 years, it has become a hot topic of discussion in the SEO world. Like most discussions about SEO factors, there are two camps of thought. One for and one against.
One camp believes that social media does indeed directly affect search engine rankings. The other side believes that it doesn’t affect rankings at all. I’m on the side that does not believe that social media helps with SEO.
There are a few reasons why I do not believe social media will, any time soon, play a role in SEO:
1. Social media is even easier to manipulate than links.
How easy is it write a short post and link on Twitter or Facebook. Very easy. My 4 year old could do this. You mean Google would give credence to these links? I think not.
2. Too easy to sign up a new social media account.
You and I can use different emails to set up multiple accounts at Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media network. We can all set up hundreds of accounts and start posting links everywhere and we’d be ranking #1 tomorrow right? Wrong. Too easy and Google knows that.
3. You can buy “Likes” and “Tweets”.
Just like link networks, there are websites out there that sell “Likes” and “Tweets.” Even worse, Likes and Tweets sell for a lot less than links. You could buy several thousand for a few dollars. You think every company earned all of their followers, Likes, or Tweets? Nope. I’m not saying all or most companies buy them, but a lot of them do, so don’t be fooled.
With that said, I still believe social media does provide benefits for your site in a couple of ways. One, it can drive a considerable amount of direct traffic to your site. And two, you may earn links over time as people discover your content through various social media platforms. So, while social media may not provide any direct SEO value, it does offer enough benefits to justify its use.
What is your thought on this topic?