I was recently asked if social helps with SEO, and the simple answer is yes. For a SEOer to ignore social media would be like a SEOer ignoring link building.
From my findings and research there are a quite a few signals to look for while using social media. Today’s post is specifically going to focus on Twitter, but please bear in mind that social media isn’t just about Twitter and Facebook, there are hundreds of great channels out there to get you going.
Below are the signals I believe Google looks for when using Twitter as part of the ranking factors.
Twitter account name: Much like domain names, having your keywords in your account name is a great plus. You’ve got to remember that having this will influence links that you post on Twitter. Google will see these as themed or relevant links.
Your bio: Even though you can only have 140 characters, making your bio unique and relevant to your posts will also count towards the theme and relevance.
Your location: This will certainly help with local search as Google will see that you have associated your Twitter account with a local area. Much like link building, targeting local business forums can give those local search terms a massive boost.
Your tweets: One of the most important parts is the quality and relevance of your tweets. Google will use these as signals to determine what your interests are and relay this back to the content and relevance on your website plus the links you post in your tweets. Take mine for an example, 90% of my tweets are about SEO, which in tern has helped with some of my search terms and rankings.
Your Twitter age: Again, much like your domain name, the longer it has been around the more trusted it will be especially if your account is active and updated on a regular basis.
Website link from your account: This is very simple, do the tweets and retweets match the same subject of your website? If so Google will be able to see a direct correlation when it comes to theme and relevance.
Twitter authority: I’m a bigger believer that Google will look at the amount of followers and the authority of these followers to determine whether or not your Twitter account should pass a good amount of juice through links.
Retweets: As I see it this is one of the most important factors, can you imagine if you post a tweet and 100 of your followers retweet the post, success! Google will see this as great, quality content because multiple tweeters have talked about this. I guess it works on a similar format to Digg, the more Diggs you get, the more popular and links you get back to the post/article.
Your followers: Apart from your own account, Google will also use your follows details to determine relevance and importance. In my mind, followers act like links. The more quality links that are relevant to your subject area will help with your overall tweets and external links.
Age of followers: Unfortunately, Twitter has become a wash of spam accounts promoting various schemes and adult related content. In my opinion, Google will look at the age of these account and the update levels. Once the account has become of a good quality, it then should count to towards your authority and link juice if they follow you or vies versa.
Follower’s tweets: So we’ve established that your followers are in to the same subjects as you and there tweets are also covering the same themes. As your follower is a link there tweets will influence your tweets and vies versa, thus adding value to any links you post.
Follower‘s location, bio and website link: These are all similar to the above but Google will use these as signals, and again, relevance to add weight to your account.
Recently listed: Twitter gives you the ability to group your favourite tweeters into specifically named categories. I’ve recently been added to about 3 different SEO groups which Google will be able to see; thus all my tweets (and links) are surrounded by relevant content.
Twitter verification: Much like .edu and.gov domain names in terms of power and trust, these accounts are usually celebrities or organisations with a high follow and sometimes high tweet rate. Getting a retweet, mention or follow from these accounts can really affect the amount of followers you will receive from other Twitter users. Remember when Kanye West followed one UK Twitter user? He then got a further 3,000 followers in about 24 hours because of a celebrity endorsement.
Links pointing to the Twitter account: I’ve started to do link building to my account to help with relevance and one thing Google checks with general rankings is the quality of links pointing to an account, this can only help with relevance and creating link networks between websites.
RSS Feed: Using your Twitters RSS can be a great way in spreading the word about topics and links you have tweeted, especially as there are designated RSS directories to post your feeds to. Don’t forget Google will come across these feeds and add even more value.
Promotion on website: In my opinion it’s important to promote your Twitter account on your website, not only does this help Google determine that they are connected, helps with reputation management, its another way to promote your business and gain further followers.
So there we have it, in my opinion these are the top 17 signals which Google will use to added weight from your Twitter account to your SEO campaign.
Why not follow me on Twitter @DaveCainSEO.