Recent research suggests that social sharing has now become the number one driver for SEO rank. In other words, Google and Bing are monitoring the social sharing activity for each site and are assigning substantial weight on that activity to determine the search rank.
Let’s look at some recent, convincing evidence:
From the Horse’s mouth Nothing beats hearing directly from the horse’s mouth. However, when that horse is named Google, the information is usually very hard to come by. In this instance though, we did find something that is as clear a shift in SEO ranking in favor of social sharing as you can possibly ask for. And yes, this is directly from Google.
Here’s what the Google blog said about site ranking back in October, 2012. The highlighted text shows that Google is encouraging webmasters to create high quality sites that other high quality sites will want to link to.
Google blog as well. Kudos to Erik Baeumlisberger for first discovering this small but highly significant change.
More EvidenceStill need more convincing? Take a look at the following two research reports.
The first one is a research report by Searchmetrics where they conducted a correlation study to find out which factors play a role in SEO ranking. Seven out of the top eight factors are related to social. Yes – you read that correctly. Seven out of the top eight factors are related to social.
So what can you do to make your content more shareable?
1. Great Content: For starters, stop creating content to please search engines and start creating content that real users will connect with and share. This chart should help illuminate this tip:
3. Proper OG tags: Ok, so you have got great content/products and you’ve used the proactive call to action strategy to get users to share your site. But you also want to make sure that you are maximizing the benefits from every shared post!
Here’s the anatomy of a share snippet:
The fifth element - Share Blurb, is written by users and can’t be controlled. However, you can certainly influence it by using an appropriate prompt such as “What do you like most about this product?” See an example from carolsdaughter.com below: