Does the new Google algorithm value social media?

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The Trusted team are noticing that it’s lean times out there for many local Saskatchewan companies. The economy has slowed down ,  we are settling into a ‘ new normal’ , after 6+ years of boom! Many business owners are assessing their costs, including marketing, some wondering if they should cut back their advertising. In other cases companies are considering advertising for the first time in years ( they didn’t think they had to when it was booming, which is another subject altogether, and for the record not something we would ever recommend!). The savvy companies out there realize they need to have a good online presence, ideally 1st page Google rankings for their category locally. So we wanted to share our experience and thoughts on why that is a VERY smart goal in this buyers market!   

What IS the SEO value of social media to local businesses?  

Recently a client of ours was provided with the following information from their head office in another Province. They asked our thoughts, which we would like to share with you: 

“After nearly four years of growing a social media presence, it’s time to try a new approach. Late last year, Google changed how it tracks SEO from social sites, no longer counting social posts or rewarding frequent updates toward higher rankings.

What that means is that despite regular updates on our location pages, search engines are NOT counting social media pages toward page rankings. Your Facebook page is unlikely to turn up as relevant in a Google search, which, to be honest, was the main reason that we set out to build location Facebook pages—to boost website ranking.

So, we ran some analysis, and did some consulting, and we’re very excited to tell you about our new Social Media Approach!

Over the next month, all centre location pages will be merged into the primary corporate account.

The main Facebook and Twitter accounts have the highest number of followers. These pages are in the best position to reach a LARGER AUDIENCE on social media, as the more fans a page has, the greater chance there is of reaching their networks of friends and followers as well. By amalgamating into a single corporate account, all the followers from the individual pages will be merged into the main Facebook account, growing its follower base and expanding the reach and views that every post has.

But what about your centre’s events and posts?!

Facebook has developed many great features and tools over the last four years, so we can now use post targeting to share posts to very specific audiences, which means, your audience in your area will see messages targeted specifically to them.

Other than merging the pages, our social media strategy will continue on as it has been: for the centres that regularly send in social media updates, keep sending them in! The good news is now even MORE people will see them!

We’re excited to build a stronger brand presence in 2016!”

 

 

OUR RESPONSE, BACKED WITH KNOWLEDGE, NUMBERS & FACTS:

SEO value of social media

  1. If you are doing social media effectively, you will be using it to drive local traffic on your social platforms back to you local website .  It should never have been all about the activity happening on the social platform that was never the aim.
  2. Bing, which is the second most-used search engine, has been crystal clear about how their algorithm incorporates social signals.
  3. Google has had 4 major core algorithm mix ups/ changes in the last 5-6 years – all of them have valued LOCAL traffic  and social, including this latest one in January. As a local business your social traffic should be local traffic – having 1000’s of fans from corporate head office is meaningless to a Saskatoon business if they aren’t local potential customers.
  4. Social is something your competitors don’t do locally at all …why wouldn’t you want take the initiative and dominate the local social media marketplace for your category? – Canadians spend more time on Facebook than anyone else in the world- women 25 – 40 are number one users …why wouldn’t you want to reach and speak to these decision makers where they are spending quality time, which is on Facebook and other social mediaLOCALLY!

 

Our Conclusion:

The claim that Google’s search algorithm ignores social signals should not be seen as an invitation for marketers to dismiss social’s impact on SEO. Instead, marketers should broaden their concept of search and SEO to take into account the myriad ways that people find content on the web. They also need to think about the positive effects that increased local traffic from social has on their local search rankings as well as the prominence of social profiles on first-page search results.

Do you seriously think Google ignores the #1 activity of 19 million Canadians?? 

 

Ultimately, the web is all about building relationships,  engaging and growing audiences, and sharing ideas––it’s inherently social at its CORE! So there’s no reason that SEO best practices would go against the grain, especially since the rules that govern SEO are ultimately meant to make the web a more enjoyable and useful place.   

Our advice would be to take over the FB page by yourself and actually do it effectively and invest money in growing your audience  ( which hasn’t been the case with the Head Office plan- very little driving back to local www, all just on FB or to head office website  ) – As a company that has over 15,000 of our own local Facebook followers, Twitter followers  and is first page ranked for most of the 50+ categories our Saskatoon directory covers,  we get over a 1000+ unique visitors a month from our Social media to our TrustedSaskatoon.com website alone . We do social media for our clients and we know that it has significantly increased their sales and their SEO when done right.  So, does social media have an impact on SEO? Yes!

 

 

If you want help, training or advice about Social Media – contact the Trusted Marketing Services team today! 

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