This blog post is part of a series covering Google search results ranking factors. In the last four entries of the series I talked about how content, user experience, technical factors, and backlinks affect search ranking. In this post, let’s take a look at the how social seo affects Google search rankings.
The ranking factors are broken down into 5 major categories:
Google’s top 10 search results MATTER!
In a 2013 study, Chitika found that 91.5% of traffic went to websites on page 1 of Google search results. Page 2 had 3.8% of the traffic while page 3 had 1.1%. Pages 4-10 each get less than .4%.
In fact, the first website listed in the Google search results can expect on average to get 32.5% of the traffic. The results for the top 10 are as follows:
We always knew that ranking highly in Google matters. Now we know just how much it matters. For example, if we rank number 1 for a keyword with a monthly search volume of 1000 searches we can expect 325 visitors per month. On the other hand, if we rank 10th, we can expect traffic of just 24 visitors per month.
What makes a website rank in the top 10 Google search results?
It’s one of those mysterious life questions… Luckily we can thank the good folks over at Searchmetrics. For 2015, the folks there analyzed the top 30 search results for a set of 10,000 keywords.
By reverse engineering the Google search results the result is a list of the ranking factors. This list is not complete. I’ve only broken down the major components.
Social SEO Effects on Google Search Rank
Websites that rank in Google’s top ten search results average 6,504 Facebook social signals (likes and shares).
Likes & Shares ranking by position:
3. ~ 6,500
Websites that rank in the top 30 average 2,869 Facebook likes and shares.
It makes perfect sense that social media is such an important ranking factor. People would not like and share you on Facebook unless they had a good reason. This indicates to Google that your website is legitimate and values by real people.
Websites in the top 10 Google search results average 1,367 +1s.
The number 1 search position averaged just over 12,000 +1s. Number 2 averaged just under 1,000. Websites that rank in the top 30 average 466 +1s.
You may not be using Google+ in your personal life but Google+ has many active communities. Google+ has really carved itself a niche for communities such as biking groups, or chess clubs. These communities use Google+ to communicate with one another. It’s almost that place in between Facebook and LinkedIn. A cross between social and professional. Your Facebook and LinkedIn networks may not be full of chess players, but Google+ is a great place to connect with these communities.
Oh, and Google owns Google+. So, it’s only natural they factor their own social network in search results ranking.
Tip: find your community on Google+ and join. After joining, don’t start immediately spamming the community with your business! First, listen. Just pay attention to what people are saying. Then, interact. Be sure to properly create your profile so when you provide real insight and value people click on your name. When they click on your name they can learn about your business. Eventually, they may end up on your website and even give your Google+ business page a +1.
The top 10 search results on Google averaged 442 tweets and retweets.
The number 1 position averaged just above 2,500 tweets and retweets. The top 30 average 190.
Follow people in your industry. Then, follow the people following the people who follow them. There is a very good chance you will get a reciprocated follow in return. Most non-Twitter superstars (those with 10k+ followers) will follow you back.
The top 10 businesses listed in Google’s search results average 60 pins.
The number 1 position averages nearly 300 pins. The top 30 average 23 pins.
Pinterest provides additional social proof signals that your business is a credible source of information. Otherwise, real people would not be following you on Pinterest.
Social media strongly affects your social SEO which in turn increases or decreases your Google search ranking. The more people ‘like’ you, + you, follow you/favorite you, and pin you the more credibility and importance you have.
Google in turn measures these social SEO factors and factors them in your search result ranking. So, do everything in your power to be active in these channels and engage with your audience.