Social Signals

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Social Signals

In case you are still keeping up with the latest Google SEO updates, you may have noticed that there is a lot of discussion revolving social signals and specifically the effect of having your website mentioned in social networks such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and so on. The question is do you really need to be there?

To answer this question we will first attempt to think how search engines and specifically Google see our SEO efforts on the social media aspects and then we will discuss the ways in which social signals can actually work for you and your website.

It's 2012, we're nearing 2013 and we're still giving our biggest SEO attention to Google, even though we keep hearing about Facebook's plan to conquer the search engine arena. Google is attempting to put a stop to web spam by implementing a series of updates which deeply effect webmasters and companies around the world. Panda and Penguin will now punish you if your incoming links are spammy and your content is poor and also take a deeper look into your visitor's experience and punish you for bad user experience (bounce rate, page views...).

And while we're talking about the user experience we should bare in mind that the web is more social nowadays and all search engines know it and you should too.

Until recently, the only indication for your website's popularity was incoming links or mentioning online (forums, comments) and now that social networks are so popular, you need to be mentioned there to count.

So what's exactly a mentioning or a signal? 

Let's say you're on Facebook and one of your friends just asked you about somewhere he can find useful webmaster resources and specifically how to increase his/her website traffic, you immediately respond and comment: "go to " . At that point you actually sent your friend to that website and also mentioned that friend on your and his Facebook account.

This will count as a signal only if Google can crawl one of these account and "read" that comment. The main problem for Google with Facebook is that it sometimes blocks Google from indexing it, so it won't always work. Twitter and especially Google plus are great sources of getting social signals, the same goes for Pinterest.

So now that you figured out that you need social signals, how can you actually achieve it?

There are a few ways to achieve social signals:

1. Add social sharing on your website - "Like", "Plus +1", "Pin" and "tweet" buttons will all help users share the content of your website with others, you'd be surprised on how many shares you will receive if your content is truly quality and helpful.

2. Do it yourself, use your own accounts and start sharing your website/s. It's better to have one sharing than nothing.

3. Pay for it - yes there are services in which you can buy social signals. Simply choose your desired package and buy social exposure. Be careful not to over do it, It's much like buying links, if you do it wisely you will never get caught.

All this will be relevant until the next Google update that will probably take place sometime soon so don't get behind and improve your SEO efforts with Social signals.