This week, while at the eTail conference in Baltimore, I heard vendors and speakers talk about increasing Internet search results rank by contributing content to sites classified as social media sites. How does this work and what does it really mean? I’ll translate into simple talk to explain.
Search engine ranking basics
The complete system and criteria used by search engines to rank pages are not known. Marketers and search engine consultants base recommendations to clients from pieces of information that are published by the search engine providers as well as best practices and experiences from things they have done to effect search engine results in the past.
One common principal behind using social media to increase search engine ranking is called link building. In basic terms, the more external web sites that link to your web site the better. This is because the search engines see external links to your site as an indicator of authority and relevance. The higher your authority and relevance, the more likely your site will show in search engine results. Think of it as people voting for a candidate in an election.
Using social media to build links
Each time content is created on a site, it’s an opportunity to write your about brand and you’re your product/service can solve problems or benefit others. Typically each time you do this, you would also include your web site address. When the search engine robots look at the social media sites they will index and count that external link to your site.
So how can you create relevant content on social media sites with links back to your site? Here are few examples:
- Leave comments on blog entries. Make sure your comments are relevant to the topic of the blog entry and add value to the discussion. This is not a space for a sales pitch.
- Create blogs entries about your brand, product, or services. Explain how they add value.
- Pay others to create blog entries about your brand, product, or services. If you do this, the bloggers must disclose they are being paid for writing their review.
- Create views on Squidoo that reference your products and services and how they meet customer needs.
- Share links to your site on a book mark site like delicious or digg
Caution here: Not all social sites allow search engines to index their site content. Individual posts on Facebook and Twitter are two examples. While that content may not count in the number of back links, they could still end up creating more links from Internet users that follow them and subsequently create their own content.
Let the web be a web
Once you start posting your brand, product, or service on these sites then others will copy, forward, repost, or tell others about what they see if they find your information useful and helpful. This is basically like spreading your message via word of mouth. But the great thing is that once the information is published on the Internet, it becomes a little sticky because it stays published for others to see and read. It’s like a testimonial that keeps on testifying.
Checkout this publication from Google to see other tips on increasing your search engine results rank.