How Does Social Media Affect Content Relevance on Search Engines?

Those who previously relied heavily on search engine optimization in their content have had to jump through many hoops since the Google Algorithm change and the subsequent Panda Update. If that wasn’t bad enough, search engines are continuously, and hastily evolving, right this moment, through social media networking.

Google and Bing Admit It!

In recent interviews, Bing and Google developers openly admitted that their search results were increasingly relying on social data to choose their results displays. For sites that previously hailed high-quality, informative content, or new businesses on the internet scene, this could be a great thing. Incorporating social media into a business concept is incredibly easy.

However, for those that relied on the illegal, but elusive to monitor and penalize tactics such as link buying, or mass volumes of borderline useless content like spun content or long tailed keyword farming, this is about the worst thing that could happen.

Bing and Google devs admitted that tweets, +1’s, and Facebook Likes do have positive results on their search engine queries. The links that are created through social media, the authority and social influence, as well as the references and citations, can all have various impacts on how your site is listed and ranked in common search results.

Social media is now playing a large part in signaling to search engine crawlers that their source is a trusted signal. This is one of the biggest reasons why savvy social networkers understand the importance of creating citations for their content. By simply being a source of sources of trusted content, users can raise their own social media influence, and therefore their search engine rankings.

The Early Days of Social Media and Search Engine Rankings

In the earliest days of the internet, WebCrawler and Excite took on the responsibility of helping users to find what they were looking for. In recent years, Google has swiftly risen to the top to dominate their industry by using better tracking indicators, and far more complex search algorithms, than any other search engine source.

This format was essentially the same as social media, except that this method was for websites, not for people as today’s social networks are focused on. These methods were easily manipulated. Most big businesses had no problem purchasing the services of those who could create links for them, what was previously a crucial issue for web crawlers looking for the best content. Small and large businesses alike had also practiced plenty of black hat techniques that swiftly shoved them to the top, where they usually managed to stay with ease, with yet more legitimate, or illegitimate SEO techniques.

Social Media Changed the Game and the Rules

Not only has the implementation of social data in search engine changed the game for many players who may have achieved success through the manipulation of algorithm knowledge, but it has changed the rules themselves. No longer will a few thousand links take the place of legit content that provides a helpful resource for its industry.

Now many of the ‘little guys’ who have long been leaders in their industries, just previously unrecognized, have the chance at launching themselves to the top by providing high-quality unique services, website content, and social media influence.



  1. Hi Joy,
    I found your article very informative, as usual. I am eager to learn more about using social media to legitimately enhance ranking and of course visibility since having the information we are sharing is for educational purposes. We want people to find it, read it and gain from it. You used one term that was not familiar to me, “creating citations for their content”. What does that mean and how does one create or get ‘citations’?

  2. Hey Allison, Citations only refers to the resources or sources. Since the larger part of the content on the net is recycled and only about 10% created by actual experts in their fields, it is highlighting how important it is to cite your work. And while I say this I notice my article isn’t cited. But! I actually created this from knowledge instead of researching other pages, so I think I am safe!

  3. So if I understand correctly, citing means listing or making note of sources of or resources for the information in your post?

  4. Yes, exactly! Same as we do here.


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