What impact do social media have on SEO?

impact social media on seo

When we talk about SEO, the question of the impact of social networks is often dealt with. Is a presence on social networks has a positive impact on SEO? That is to say, can we have a better positioning in the results of search engines through social networks? Yes certainly otherwise why marketing professionals do they give much trouble to implement a Social Media strategy? There are several reasons and social SEO is one of their goals.

Not exactly what Google pretends …

Since 2010, Matt Cutts keeps saying Google‘s algorithm does not use social signals as a ranking factor in search results. He saidFacebook and Twitter pages are treated as all other pages in our web index. If something happens on Twitter or on Facebook and we are able to explore, we can integrate it into our search results. But saying that “you have this number of Twitter followers or that number of people on Facebook” at the best of my knowledge, we do not currently have signals like this in our search ranking algorithms on the web“.

Google repeats often : although social networks are not a relevant criterion for SEO, they still have an indirect influence on SEO. Some even claim to have seen an irrefutable impact of their social media campaigns on the ranking of their website. Some theorists have even accused Google of deliberately misleading the public to encourage the use of its own social platforms.

What can we say about the statement of Matt Cutts?

  • Google treats the pages of social networks like any other web page.
  • Social signals are not taken into account, at least not directly.

But beware, this does not mean that we should neglect social networks so far!

So yes or no ? Does social media have an impact on SEO?

Searchmetrics and Moz.com often lead correlation studies based on observation of research results. Through these studies, they showed that social networks have indeed an impact on SEO but indirectly! Indeed, it is a matter of “popularity” So awareness is gained through better positioning.

Multiple studies, including the Searchmetrics’ Rank Correlation in 2013 and the case studies presented in this infographic Quicksprout gave more weight to the idea that search engines look for social cues when ranking a  web page.


We know now that Google focuses on content marketing for SEO and that it bases its development on social media … So there is certainly a correlation between SEO and social networks.

According to research by Econsultancy on the most important factors that influence SEO:

  • We find in first place the number of back links that are currently the most powerful positioning levers. Indeed, if a blog post viralise on Twitter, is does it not means that  these many links will boost the post in the search rankings?
  • Today, links are usually shared through original content. These links that lead to your content and that are shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube or any other social network helps Google understand which websites are the most credible and are ready  to be classified according to their keywords.
  • Promoting the content of a website on social networks generates quality traffic to a website, valuing it in the eyes of Google. It is therefore important to provide engaging content and added value for the community. Nevertheless, a strong commitment on social networks is not necessarily the cause of a good ranking but may be the consequence.
  • Sharing, “likes” “tweets“, the +1 of Google+, etc. The more we talk of a site, the more “popular”it becomes, the more it returns positive signals to Google.
  • We also note that social profiles influence the content of the search results. The first thing a visitor will see by typing the name of a brand on Google is its description. And since Google highlights its social network Google+, Google+ profile (if the brand has one of course) will be the first thing he will notices. So it is essential to have a complete profile with up-to-dated information and quality content.


In conclusion

Despite Google’s reluctance on this subject, social media have an impact on SEO. Not directly. Producing original and attractive content, making a Linkbuilding strategy, engagement from community on social media contribute to a SEO improvement.