Does social media impact your SEO? Do retweets, shares, and likes of a webpage actually boost that page in search engine results?
It’s a longstanding debate. Google hasn’t acknowledged that social signals are a ranking factor. However, numerous studies suggest there is a correlation.
The premise is simple. Google wants to serve the best results to users. So if one webpage is more “popular” than another (with more likes, shares, etc.), it assumedly provides better information. Hence, why it should rank higher on Google.
Others suggest that the correlation is due to the fact that highly-shared pages are simply seen more. Therefore, the page is likely to get more backlinks from other websites. And quality backlinks are a focal point of Google’s algorithm.
So, in effect, the social signal isn’t a direct factor. It’s the backlink that improves the ranking.
There’s no concrete evidence to either viewpoint.
Either way, social media gets your practice in front of more people, and research suggests that somehow highly-shared content can boost your rankings.
Moreover, social media marketing holds more value than just SEO. Online social interaction cultivates patient community and increases top-of-mind awareness.
All of this underscores the importance of having a robust social presence.