11 Apr SEO VS Social Media – Which is More Important For Your Business?
Can a good SEO strategy replace the need for a small business to be active on social media? A key to understanding this oft-asked question, is to briefly examine the history and the future of Google’s search algorithm, the complex formula they use to determine a website’s search engine results position. Google is always striving to make their search engine better, and when they find a weakness in their search engine, they apply an update to make it better.
Many websites used to gain traffic by spinning articles. Spinning occurs when a webmaster locates a high-quality article on the internet, and enters that article into software that replaces some of the words with synonyms. The new article was undetectable by the old plagiarism-checkers. Google’s 2011 Panda update stopped spinning cold.
The SEO world lives on something called link juice. If a website links to your website, then your website will receive some link juice. Some webmasters paid link farms for thousands of links, so they could skyrocket up Google’s search engine result pages. After the 2012 penguin update, those websites were pushed right back down and lost much of their visibility.
In July 2014, Google revealed another SEO update (coincidentally also named after a bird) known as Pigeon. This update focused on giving web searchers more accurate results for local queries. For instance, the website Yelp, a site that many web clients trust for information about local businesses, was boosted in the Pigeon update. Additionally, the Pigeon update made hyperlocal search imperative. For example, saying your business operates in City A may have been enough before Pigeon, but after Pigeon it is vital to expressly tell the internet that you are in the northern part of City A, particularly if City A is not a small city.
The Unnamed 2015 Mobile-friendly Update
In 2015, Google plans to roll out another algorithm update, an update which is unnamed as of now, that rewards companies that have a substantial social media presence, and by contrast punishes companies that have a limited social media presence. It is rumored that this update could have a huge impact on SEO, perhaps even more so than Panda and Penguin, two updates that send reverberations throughout the SEO world. Social media is about to become an even more integral part of SEO.
Can I Have SEO Success Without Social Media?
Some webmasters, who are uncomfortable with social media, might try to make up for their social media deficiency by checking all of the other SEO boxes. The problem is that this strategy does not work anymore. The book Social Media notes:
Actually, updating a blog as often as possible, having excellent meta descriptions and having backlinks isn’t just enough to make you get a spot in the top searches for your targeted keywords. The truth is that search engines nowadays largely consider social media presence in determining the rankings of different sites.
The new reality is that social media has become an integral part of raising your website’s search engine ranking results. If you ignore social media, then you are swimming upstream and you are not allocating your time efficiently. SEO is largely about creating magnificent content anyway. Social media helps you share that content, the premium articles and videos you create as a part of your SEO strategy, with more people.
Social Media is a vital part of promoting your business or your website. If you have hopes of ranking well for competitive keywords, then you need to strongly consider being visible on social media. On the other hand, your social media presence is not dependent on your SEO strategy. Both of these tools are useful for small businesses, but it is getting harder and harder to run a successful SEO campaign without incorporating social media into your strategy.