Crossroads of Social Media and SEO

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13-Oct-2010 - Guacira Naves of The Online Strategy House led this tip-laden review of the various social media platforms, their importance, what search engines look for and like with respect to SEO.

Some facts got people’s attention:

  • Facebook likes and profile search are available on Bing
  • there is “Like” on 2+ million sites
  • Facebook became the most visited site in the U.S. since March 2010 (YouTube is 5th)
  • People spend an average of 7 hours/month on Facebook
  • 15 million Canadian users
  • Twitter gets 600 million queries/day (search)

Google loves blogs... so blogs posts are great for SEO (active sites have more authority). And, of course, good posts get more back links, which leads to yet higher page rank. For maximum effect the blog should be part of the web site, and quality of content is important. A blog is also the perfect place to include long tail terms that don’t fit elegantly in the rest of your site. Lastly, especially if you like acronyms, QDF - Query Deserves Freshness. Search engines are all over trending topics, so if you spot something (relevant!) going hot on Bing Social or Twitter, then mention it in your blog. This is opportunistic and temporary, but if you have the time it can pay dividends.

Bing Social now shows Facebook corporate page status - Google indexes Facebook pages (but not profiles or groups) - don’t ignore OpenGraph (dev info), implement OpenGraph tags in meta tags - incorporate keywords into About section (which tends to be static) and ensure the default tab is rich in keyword content too. Recently Facebook has moved away from FBML to iFrames - this results in loss of search rank by custom tabs, and there is a natural loss of link juice passed by links in iFrame tabs.

There is some evidence that tweeting a link may help it to get indexed faster by Google - Google and Bing are increasingly showing Twitter updates in search results, especially trending topics - Bing recommends users on Twitter - optimize your bio with keywords, as it becomes the meta description on Google - incorporate keywords in Twitter updates. Twitter for PPC: use keyword research to optimize Twitter then use findings to tune keywords.

YouTube can boast 425 million unique visitors/month (SearchEngineWatch) - videos have great pull - it is the #1 search engine in the U.S. - develop videos themed around most popular topics found in your keyword research - place terms in title, descriptions and tags - more views >> more popularity >> higher search ranking - host on YouTube and embed on own site - consider using to publish once to hit all video sites - video responses are good, but be courteous - create a video site map.

Suggested reading

Thanks to Guacira and IIMA for a enlightening event, and the yummy things to eat!

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