The trend has begun where social media is no longer optional for businesses. Those wishing to go mainstream are quickly finding one of their greatest marketing tools is social networks. Why the sudden change from optional to required? Search engines are now ranking sites based upon social media activity.
Social Media Incorporation
All those social share buttons you see on websites and hopefully your own site are already starting to affect your search results. Comments made through social networks which appear on your blog or site will also affect your rank. More and more users are seeking businesses which incorporate social media so they can easily share with their friends and see which sites and brands their friends like best.
The Next Generation
Search engines are now allowing users to log in and view search results ranked based upon their friends’ social activity. For instance, if you log into Google, you will see sites on Google+ ranked higher than those who aren’t. The object is to showcase the businesses your friends recommend. The more interactions and followers you have, the higher you’ll rank.
Even if a user isn’t logged in, search engines are changing algorithms to rank sites with an interactive social media presence higher than those without one. In fact, many businesses see their social media profiles rank higher than their own websites.
One major benefit of these changes to search engines is the ability to better target your audience. Friends and family often have common interests. Odds are, they’ll see recommendations in a search engine long before their friends may think to actually tell them about you. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, you’ll be targeting your audience through the followers you already have.
Get Social Now
The sooner you start building your social media presence, the stronger your chance at ranking high. Search engines are just beginning to truly embrace social media as a ranking criteria. Start now and you’ll already have an established presence before social media becomes an absolute necessity. Wait and you’ll have miles to climb on the search engine ladder while your competition reaps the benefits of proactive social networking.