It was about 2005 and I had an email conversation with this astute fellow named Mike Koenig from San Diego. He was selling an information product about online Video production. The key component being that getting a video onto youtube was easier to rank for "long tail key phrases".
He said look at this result I rank on the first page for "San Diego Probate Attorney". My dull witted reply was, "no you do not, that is You Tube that ranks in the top ten!"
We went back and forth and then finally I got it. So what if it was You Tube? It is still the Attorney's video. And of course the video has all his contact information.
The Lightbulb came on.
Today some are calling this the faceless web. Whereby you can get phone calls without someone even visiting your main website.
So let's look at why you would want to have a video on You Tube or a post on say Face Book or Twitter.
I. Traffic- In some circles this is called parasitic marketing. Taking advantage of the traffic generated by a large website like You Tube or Face Book.
By posting links to posts automatically or semi-automatically an author can get their post syndicated or repurposed to numerous outlets all over the web.
II. Links- Links matter to Google right? I hope I hear a resounding YES! Ranking in Organic search is mostly all about the links. A profile in You Tube may provide you a link, however most of the links are nofollowed. Nofollowed means the value of the link is not respected by Google.
III. Brand- Having a Fan Page in Face Book can enhance your brand if enough people are indeed fans. The fact that you communicate online through the new media can illustrate your business personality as well as your transparency.
IV. Connection- Now more than ever there is an ability for the public to just pick up the phone and call you, Instant Message You, comment you or Email you through the membership portal. These portals allow multiple methods for your public to contact you.
So How Does Social Media help your SEO?
Technically it doesn't. Sure you can get a link in some cases like at Twitter. But even there the link lacks any custom anchor text. And for the link to have value it must be backed up by links to it. And where do those links come from? Your friends on Twitter.
"You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you, and then you follow someone--then even though this new person does not have lots of followers," his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves followed widely,Google Engineer Amit Singhal says. It is "definitely, definitely" more than a popularity contest, he adds.
"One user following another in social media is analogous to one page linking to another on the Web. Both are a form of recommendation," Singhal says. "As high-quality pages link to another page on the Web, the quality of the linked-to page goes up. Likewise, in social media, as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well." So maybe the social sites can get your profile or posts ranked. So you are really taking advantage of the large portal's own SEO.
But how do they know you have a friend? Ech hem....drum roll please. A Link!
Let's look at the three we have mentioned:
Twitter- Twitter allows you to get ranked in three ways.
a. Your individual posts-Page is indexed in Google however the links are no followed.
b. Your individual profile page (http://www.twitter.com/profile name)
c. Your real time tweets-Google is now feeding in realtime conversations such as those occuring at Twitter. If you have ever seen these threads of conversation you will surely think someone has been hitting the Vodka over at the Googleplex. I am doubtful that this feature will continue. As I mentioned in my last post. The Twitter conversation at the ROP convention looks as if your are reading conversations posted by severely handicapped 8 year olds. With all due respect to real handicapped 8 year olds as I am probably being too kind to the adults.So if you get into a real conversation which most Tweeters and especially Realtors do not,then your realtime chats may get into Google. Lucky you.(sic)
D. Someone else's Tweets and their syndication. If you are Retweeted by a Tweeter then you will be on his or her post(s) also. Along with their syndicated Tweets to other networks.
So that is Twitter. I will produce a Video for Twitter SEO,You Tube SEO, and Face Book SEO soon and add it to this post.
So does the social media help your SEO?
No. At best they give you a link. Being on the social media is sort of like taking advantage of the host site's SEO (authority). Any Realtor who has used Active Rain gets that concept. There are plenty of opportunities by the way than the usual suspects. Zillow and Trulia offer Realtors opportunities to publish on their websites. Additionally, many local based portals do the same. And these probably offer more direct opportunities for you than these larger new media portals.
The Big Equalizer
Google is betting on users using their Google Profile to search. For a couple years now you would get personalized search results based upon your own habits. So if you go to your own website while signed into Google you will see your site is number one.
I always have thought this stupid because I have bookmarks galore to tell me where I want to return. I go to Google for new stuff. But I digress.