Since it was first rolled out, Google Panda has undergone several refreshes. Now that the dust raised by the initial upheaval has settled down, the Panda updates have actually proved to be a boon to companies offering customer-centric content. First and foremost, it serves as an effective filter in weeding out poor quality content. More importantly, it negates the need for businesses to engage in expensive and, as defined by Google, unethical SEO practices to stay on top of the ranking index. This levels the playing field and makes value offered by your content the key criterion for SEO success.
Let’s look at how you can assimilate the various measures under Google’s Panda updates to reap rich dividends for your business.
Search Engines Are Increasingly Aware Of Social Signals
Google is omnipresent on social media through the ownership of channels such as YouTube, Picasa, Orkut, Google+, and BlogSpot. The introduction of the +1 application was the first visible indicator of how this is going to impact their search engine strategy. The more the number of +1s a particular content piece receives, the higher the chances of it being positioned further up the content ranking value chain.
This trend of combining social media and search is not limited to Google alone. Even Microsoft and Yahoo announced an alliance with Twitter that will provide Bing and Yahoo greater access to the content listed on Twitter. This increases the likelihood of relevant tweets being presented as search results.
Key areas that you need to explore to improve your search engine rankings include:
- Twitter Links: Twitter’s Firehose technology provides its partners the option of real-time search for relevant content. As a result, links that you post on Twitter will get picked up by these partners thereby increasing the hits for your site.
- Public pages on Facebook: A business page on Facebook can positively influence your search engine rankings and provide a boost to your SEO program, especially if you have an integrated digital marketing strategy and knowledge of the right keywords.
- Google Social Search: The search engine giant’s ‘Search plus Your World’ feature is an attempt to leverage Google+ to rank information on the basis of what your network recommends or creates.
- Video channels: The world is going the audio-visual way. Create a YouTube channel and upload interesting videos that will get you shares and likes.
Incorporating Social Media Into Your SEO Strategy
Using social media offers several SEO advantages to your business.
- Social Signals: Increasing the number of views, shares, +1s, likes, and tweets will get you noticed by search engines. Social signals currently account for more than 10% of organic search algorithms.
- Interactive exchanges: Consumers are discussing your brand online and influencing buying decisions. You need to be part of such conversations and engage your target audience to create a positive influence.
Some quick actions you can take:
– Create a Google+ business page
– Add social sharing buttons across all your communications
– Build networks on various social media platforms
– Create communities and engage people in discussions about your brand
– Enable geo-tagging
– Earn reviews and rating on social sites
How to Use Social Media to Improve Rankings
Ensure that you have an optimal number of authoritative followers on social media platforms. If your social media activity decelerates then your ranking is likely to take a hit. Put in place a strategy to maintain consistency. Additionally:
- Share high quality content: Google’s key objective behind the Panda Updates was to penalize websites hosting low quality content.
- Build natural relationships: Identify social media communities where people interested in your products or services usually congregate, and engage in mutually beneficial discussion.
- Identify the right social media channels: Not all social media channels are likely to prove equally beneficial. If your focus is B2B, a Facebook page might not work for you. You need to identify the ones that fit your business objectives.
- Employ tactics that will improve SEO: Due to privacy policies, social media channels place technical restrictions on the data that can be presented in results. Get an expert to guide you on how to use these channels for SEO.
- Apply keyword strategy: Your web strategy can no longer be executed in isolation. Leverage your keyword strategy on social media channels.
Increased Visibility Throws Open New Opportunities
Social media optimization is complex and requires a well thought out integrated strategy, dedicated resources, and consistent execution. It can work wonders for your business in the following ways:
- • You will see more qualified visitors flocking to your website
- • Likes, shares, and tweets will get your brand noticed
- Geo-tagging could win the business of non-locals
- Your responses on online communities can position you as a solutions expert
- Disseminating content through social platforms can generate high quality backlinks
- Your social network can become a loyal customer base
If you don’t have the time or resources, consider engaging the services of an expert. You can gain from their experience and also shorten the learning curve. Contact your local WSI Consultant to incorporate social into your SEO strategy and improve your brand’s visibility.