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by Ali Moghadam on 30th July 2014
Hi, Al here at Koozai. I’m here today to talk to you about social signals.
So first up, what is a social signal? I would say it’s any sort of
attribution, or mention, or sort of any reference to your site or your
business that you get from a social media platform.
For example, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, I mean, they’re the three biggest.
They’re the three most obvious ones that people go for. If you were setting
up a social media campaign, you would definitely want to be on them.
But there’s loads of others. There’s YouTube. There’s Instagram. There’s
Vine. I mean, the list is pretty much endless. We’d be here all day, so I
won’t go in to it in too much depth.
But, you know, there’s a lot of stuff out there. There’s niche social media
as well that you can get in to. It really depends on what you’re doing and
what your goals are. But yeah, there’s plenty to pick from.
These three I am going to focus on for the minute. Now, those kinds of
mentions and citations that you get, how do they impact? How do they even
help your online campaign, your SEO, for example?
A lot of people would argue that Google doesn’t know what a social signal
is, that it can’t pick out importance from social media. I wrote a blog
post on it a little while ago, about how social signals are important, even
if they don’t exist.
Let’s just go in to one example here. Google+ is Google’s own property, so
they know. They know whats happening. They know exactly what’s going on.
They know when things get +1′d. They know when things get shared. They know
mentions, this, that, and the other, and they can see firsthand popularity.
I mean, it is not the same kind of audience that you get on others with
more general social profiles, like the bigger ones, the most well-known
like Facebook and Twitter. It’s not the same kind of thing, but they’ve got
data they know. So that has to have some kind of effect. It’s providing
them with data at least.
Twitter again, I mean, you sometimes get Twitter results in search, so
there’s a connection there. APIs can see what’s going on through Twitter.
So again, there has to be a way of gleaning some information from that, and
Google is working hard on sort of using Twitter in real time as a source of
So again, there’s a potential connection there. No one is going to confirm
it, but there’s a potential connection there. And even still, it wouldn’t
matter either way, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Facebook. I had a conversation with someone recently, saying that Facebook
and Google, they don’t communicate, and it’s impossible to know how
Facebook popularity translates to search engine popularity and visibility.
I would argue differently than that and probably for all social platforms
as well. In Google Analytics, you can see who the referrer is. If you’ve
got a ton of referrals from Facebook, it’s means that, “Hey, hang on a
minute, you’re popular on this platform. It’s a popular page. It’s a
popular business. It’s something that people are talking about.”
So there’s got to be a connection there again. I mean, Google can see, and
they’re going to know, and they’re going to, either way, give some sort of
reference to that in the search results.
But even if they don’t exist, it doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t say. Because if
you’re not getting referrals, if you’re not getting improved SEO, if you’re
not getting more visibility in a search engine, here, there, or anywhere,
what you are getting is real visibility on a platform that you are sharing
on, that is popular that you’re active on.
And if you weren’t doing that, you wouldn’t have any of it. And I think
that’s more important to remember than the search for rankings there. If
you’re primarily doing it only for SEO benefit, it’s probably not going to
You have to do it for your business. It has to be your voice. It has to be
a place that you go to share, and I think that’s much more important. Even
if there’s no such thing as social signals, I still think everyone can do
it, even if you think your industry is boring, or your business isn’t
For example, “Will It Blend?” Blenders aren’t a particularly interesting
product. I’ve never been fascinated with blenders myself, but they managed
to turn it around. They took something that is completely uninteresting,
and they made something fun out of it and they made the most amazing
Where else are you going to go and see an iPhone get blended up? There you
go. So they used their YouTube and their social channels really well to
make something that isn’t particularly interesting really fun and get
people who weren’t interested in blenders in the first place involved.
That’s the kind of power that social has, and it doesn’t matter about how
it affects your visibility and rankings, because that visibility on its own
is worth far more.
Yeah, so that’s the importance of social, and why it doesn’t even matter if
there are social signals. But also, how these things are all connected.
Thank you very much for listening and watching. If you want to find out
more about SEO and social, just follow Koozai on our various social
Ali is experienced in working with SEO and Social Media, helping businesses find their voice in competitive markets. He loves digital media and finding innovative uses for it, with a keen interest in how creativity on the internet can help shape success.