Social media impact on SEO
The Future of Search = Web + Social
Google released the +1 button few weeks ago. Intention was to spread the ‘Facebook Like’ similar service across the web, gain initial traction and collect raw data before the launch of Google Plus social network service. Google already launched the ‘Real-time Search’ which incorporated the search results from Twitter, Facebook, News websites and Blogs (Surprisingly the Real-time search is down as their contract with Twitter expired and they have not renewed it for undisclosed reason). It is obvious that web search is getting more social minute by minute and Google is exploring this area extensively while it integrates more social search signals into its core search algorithm.
Social media impact on user engagement metrics
Search engine used to collect data about user engagement in terms of Bounce Rate, Time on site, Referral source to improve relevance of search results.
After the arrival of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, social buttons such as Like, Share and Tweet affected the web traffic in a dramatic way. This forced search engines like Bing to integrate real-time search results from these social networks with the help of exclusive partnerships where Google failed.
Google’s several attempts to get more social signals and enter into social network failed before arrival of Google plus.
Now Google has released +1 button, Google+ (plus social network) and integrated social engagement signals in Webmaster and Analytics within short span of time, clearly indicating strong social integration with search.
Social Metrics in Analytics and Webmaster
To incorporate signals from other social network presence in websites, Google has requested developers and webmasters to use call back functionality
Best Practice recommendation by Google
“Many sites add social media buttons by using content management plug-ins. If you are the author of such plugins, we highly recommend you integrate Google Analytics social tracking to automatically track these interactions.”
Will Google+ affect my current SEO?
It will affect your current Keywords+Links technique as it will infuse a social angle to it; courtesy of Google Plus, although we can’t predict the degree of impact. Google search results will now be populated with the real time feeds from Google Plus. Your site can get a traffic boost by integrating the +1 button in the webpages.
Sparks is another way of getting entry into Google Plus and increasing the SEO of your website. The details are thin about the low level working of Sparks and how it finds and aggregates content from all over the web. SEO community is trying to get into more details about sparks which can bring huge traffic of avid readers.
How is Google pushing Google+ into SEO?
Google wants websites to integrate +1 button in their pages so that they can keep track of CTR (Click-through Rate) change due to Google Plus and Social Search where in it shows how many times the pages were +1’d from within the site as well as the search results.
Google offers in-depth infographics of social actions including +1 clicks, Tweets, etc. from the website in the Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. This could reflect the effect of online social marketing campaign on your business and eventually help business owners understand the value that social actions provide to their business.
If you are a website owner and want to keep up with the pace of today’s changing search engines, this could help you integrate social sharing buttons in your site and you could try out the sample analytic APIs here while an example page could help you track social buttons.
+1 helps people discover relevant content from the people in their circles; conversely, it will help you recommend content to friends in your circles.
Google +1 even affects advertisements?
The +1 button appears next to headline in search ads. Personalized annotations will appear beneath your display URL. For example, if Josh +1’d a page selling an attractive iPhone case. A search ad with same URL appears to his friend Paul, he might see the ad with the note “Josh and 33 other people +1’d this”
Adoption of Google+, +1 and integration of social plugins tracking actions will decide, how much search engines get empowered to influence search results by social factors.