In 2014, Matt Cutts, former software engineer for Google, stated their algorithms do not consider social signals for search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Cutts also said Google’s algorithm crawls social media sites the same way it would any other site. In other words, the authority of a social profile does not impact search rankings, but social media is still a great platform to expand your audience and drive traffic to your website, even without the “link juice.”
Let’s assume an article is shared on a social media platform with a healthy following base. This increases the chance of an influencer recognizing the article and sharing it on their social platform, which in turn drives traffic to your website. The increase in visibility for an article also increases the chance of it being noticed by a blogger, journalist, or author. This increased visibility gives the article a greater chance of being shared naturally and gaining a backlink from another website.
Social media has more of an indirect effect on search engine optimization in the sense that shares between users do not mean a backlink is earned (links from social media are “nofollow”). The more shares, the greater opportunity for a backlink.
Social media and SEO also share an overlap in building relationships. Establishing relationships with your customers or influencers within your niche increases the chance of others sharing your content. Answering customer questions online, collaborating with other influencers, and demonstrating that your business is willing to add value only strengthens your overall brand.
Social Media gives companies a chance to connect with customers like never before. In recent years SEO has been geared more and more towards quality content, and social media presents a great opportunity to share pieces of quality content that add value, which increases loyalty from customers.