Social signals impact search engine rankings and Google has been tracking social signals as part of its ranking algorithm for several years now.
Note: Google encourages businesses to build their brand on social media as a long-term investment to drive qualified traffic, instead of aiming for short-term benefits like search ranking placement. Google’s own head of the web spam team Matt Cutts has stated that Google takes a cautious approach when it comes to social media, as so many things change quickly on social media. Without a perfect ‘map,’ Google is understandably reticent to assign too much importance to social signals over other aspects of their search algorithm. In short, Google’s strategy is to “wait and see” how things develop over time, as websites that provide true value tend to develop longevity, trust and authority, and these are the websites that Google naturally wants to ascribe higher search rankings to.
Table of Contents
- Social Signal Sources
- Social Signals – Which Ones Should You Pay Attention To?
- SocialMetricsPro – Social Media Analytics Plugin For WordPress
Social Signal Sources
Social sites that search engines look to when measuring social signals include:
With almost 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social community in the world. It has been estimated that a single post can reach over 100,000 users, so even if no one is buying your products or services on Facebook, don’t be quick to dismiss Facebook as an important part of your online business strategy, as Google processes social data and information from Facebook to help determine your search rankings. In fact, Facebook seems to have the most influence on search rankings of all social media sites.
(Number of monthly active Facebook users. Source: Statista.com)
After Facebook, Twitter is the second biggest social media site in the world, with over half a billion tweets sent out every day. Twitter has a significant amount of influence on the cybersphere and places great emphasis on tweeting posts that provide great value to followers over the amount of tweets sent …
(Over half a billion tweets are sent every single day. Source: InternetLiveStats.com)
As Google’s own social site, Google+ naturally carries a significant degree of authority online, even if it is still a fledgling online community compared to sites like Facebook and Twitter.
(More people are starting to interact socially on Google+ every day. Source: InternetLiveStats.com)
In addition to the big 3 social sites listed above, there are a number of other sites worth getting to know, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon,Reddit, and Digg.
(A number of social media sites provide important signals that can affect your search engine rankings)
Social Signals – Which Ones Should You Pay Attention To?
Social signals tracked by search engines include the following:
- Facebook – e.g. how many Facebook comments, shares, and likes a person has, growth rate of likes and shares, etc.
- Twitter – e.g. tweets and retweets, the authority of the person sharing your URL, trending topics, etc.
- GooglePlus – e.g. who is following you (influential users), how many followers on Google+ a web page has accrued, number and growth rate of +1s, etc.
- Other sites – e.g. number of Pins and re-Pins on Pinterest, upvotes on Digg, etc.
- Not so obvious signals – In addition to the above, there are other not so obvious signals that can indirectly influence search engine rankings and traffic. These include positive and negative factors, such as backlinks from authority sites (not as influential as they once were, but still a factor) [positive], and whether your site is deemed to be of low quality by visitors [negative].
As a business owner, it’s important to not only find ways to develop your presence on major social networking websites, but also to be able to monitor and analyze your social signals in order to improve your business results.
(Using social media can improve your business results)
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your brand’s online visibility on social media, spy on your competition, help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by online users, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, and spot new market opportunities. It can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific topics, products, businesses, or brands.
As a tool for business intelligence, being able to monitor social media channels like blogging, internet forums, social networking sites, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., discussion boards, video/photo sharing sites, and user-generated content is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by a cross-section of people including online reputation managers, marketing professionals, market research, professional sales reps, social engagement and community staff, and agencies. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a media monitoring service to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various providers have created a range of affordable and even free tools that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict consumer behavior around their brands so they can respond to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.
Go here for a detailed article on social media tracking tools and technologies that are worth knowing about:
(Do you know how to effectively monitor your social signals?)
In this article, we explore a simple WordPress plugin for monitoring social signals and improving your social media exposure.
SocialMetricsPro – Social Media Analytics Plugin For WordPress
Social Metrics Pro is an easy-to-install social analytics plugin that is designed to help users grow their social media influence in an uncomplicated way. It is built on a simple concept – SocialMetricsPro tracks how each signal is performing and returns either a green or red indicator. The user’s objective is to convert all reds into greens.
(SocialMetricsPro provides a system that any website owner can operate … turn all the reds into greens!)
Colors indicate relative popularity. This simplifies your social analytics with Excel-like conditional color formatting. Posts that receive the most shares show up green. Posts with low social media activity show up amber or red.
The developers of SocialMetricsPro tested their plugin on a network of over two thousand websites over a period of 3 months. During this period, all they focused on was turning the “reds” to “greens” and then keeping everything “green”. From these tests, they were able to notice that their top 10 best performing sites saw an improvement of up to 360% more traffic, 410% more keywords ranked in the first page of Google and their revenue increased by 310%.
(According to SocialMetricsPro developers, improving your social media marketing can affect your search rankings, traffic and revenue!)
Learn more here:
Below we have listed just some of the benefits of using SocialMetricsPro to track Likes, Tweets, Pins, +1s and more directly from your WordPress Dashboard on your website:
Ready To Go To Work In Minutes
Social Metrics Pro installs like every other plugin. Simply upload a zip folder that contains the plugin to your Plugin folder via your WP admin login and activate.
Really Simple To Use
As mentioned earlier, the site owner’s objective is to convert all the reds into greens. Social Metrics Pro tracks and measures social signals the way Google sees it so you know which campaigns require investing more effort and where to optimize.
Select Only Signals From Social Networks You Care About
Social Metrics Pro provides a powerful dashboard to centrally track and monitor social activity from networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Digg, and LinkedIn directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Social Metrics Pro helps you get answers to questions like:
- Which social networks work best for my site?
- Which posts are performing the best on these social networks?
- Which are my most popular posts?
- And more …
With Social Metrics Pro, all of this information can be accessed with just one click.
(Social Metrics Pro actively monitors social signals from the social sites that you care most about!)
SocialMetricsPro offers WordPress users with many features. Here are a few:
- Fast and easy to install and use. Ready to use in minutes.
- Widgets And Extensions Ready. You can extend the plugin’s functionality using external and built-in widgets. SocialMetricsPro shows the latest information right on your WordPress admin bar, display social content on your blog sidebar or anywhere on your site using point-and-click widgets.
- One-click updating. You can update SocialMetricsPro in a single click via the WordPress Updates page, or update it manually. You can also opt to be notified via email whenever new versions are released.
- Minimal hosting resources consumption. The plugin generates reports fast, using little hosting resources. Report generation also includes the amount of time used to retrieve the information and the server memory used to compile data.
Additional plugin features include:
- Sort, Search And Filter Features: SocialMetricsPro allows you to sort, search and filter your data as you like. You can perform keyword searches to study posts related to certain topics, and even filter the results by category, post authors, publishing date, or by post type.
- Export Data To Excel: You can export and plot filtered, sorted data and custom queries in Excel for further analysis. Data can be exported in tab-delimited and comma-separated file formats, and imported to the spreadsheet application of your choice.
(SocialMetricsPro is really simple to use … just change reds into greens!)
Here are a couple of the testimonials and feedback that users have published about SocialMetricsPro:
“Social Metrics Pro is the essential plugin we use to monitor how our content performs on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s simple, neat and works precisely as you would expect it. When we work with our clients such as T-Mobile, the .Me domain name registry and others, Social Metrics Pro is the plugin we use to create reports as well as keep track on each bit of content to optimize it for future performance.” Ivan Brezak Brkan, Editor of Netokracija.com, TechCrunch EU Contributor
”Social Metrics is one of the recipes for Social WordPress. You can integrate it quickly and easily on your WordPress site to view your performance on social networks” Jean-Francois Arseneault, Arseneault Consultation (WordCamp Montreal 2011)
Social Metrics Pro – Useful Tips
A practical, step-by-step guide on how to optimize your campaigns and improve your social media strategy (i.e. turn reds into greens) is also included.
SocialMetricsPro is well-supported, and comes with free support and free lifetime updates, backed by a no-risk, 60-day, full refund guarantee.
Social Metrics Pro plugin is available in two editions:
- Single Site License – This enables you to use SocialMetricsPro on a single site. Price includes free lifetime upgrades and free support. Cost = $27.00 (one-time).
- Multiple Sites Licensing – This lets you activate Social Metrics Pro on multiple sites that you own. Includes free lifetime updates and free support. Cost = $47.00 (one-time).
Please Note: The price of the Social Metrics Pro software can vary, depending on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. The pricing above was correct at the time this article was published. This may or may not be the actual price charged by the product seller when you visit the website and there may be additional upsells or one-time offers after purchasing.
Check the plugin’s website for the latest price here:
SocialMetricsPro requires a self-hosted installation of WordPress and can be instantly downloaded after purchase.
As mentioned earlier, with the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, search engines have started taking into account social signals when determining website ranking.
No website owner can afford to ignore the importance of social media. SocialMetricsPro solves the problem of how to find a simple, time-saving solution that gives you immediate feedback on the success of your social media marketing campaigns and guides you where to improve your results.
SocialMetricsPro is ideal for beginners and advanced WordPress users alike. It tracks Tweets, Likes, Pins, +1s and more right from your WordPress admin area.
We recommend getting this plugin if you own or manage WordPress sites and would like to save money on outsourcing your social media marketing campaigns or train your staff to manage your campaigns in-house.
For complete details, visit the plugin website here: Social Metrics Pro – Social Media Analytics Plugin
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