Google recognizes that one personal endorsement from someone we know easily outranks endorsements from 10,000 strangers. The same applies for a trusted authority: a blogging link shared by Darren Rowse or Brian Clark carries more weight than something a casual user shares.
So as a result, we have Google Social Search: meaning a site can jump from #30 to #3 in the SERPs just because someone in your Google+ circles shared the link. Getting an RT from The Huffington Post can jump your blog post from #8 to #1. It’s a brave new world of social SEO – and it’s one that no SEO can afford to ignore.
Levelling The Playing Field
Under traditional SEO practices, a modern startup would have no chance at ranking for highly competitive keywords. The other sites have been down in the trenches too long; it’d be nearly impossible to knock them off their SERP pedestal without years of campaigning.
Social SEO makes it easier for smaller fish to compete with the big guys. A tweet that receives a viral-size number of retweets can mean as much as a link from a top-ranking site; a +1 from a friend can send your site to the top of the social SERPs for that friend’s entire network.
Social media should already be a part of your business strategy. Now it’s time to harness the power of those social media accounts for your SEO strategy – or risk falling behind while your competitors cash in on their social chips.
Social Strategies To Start Employing Today
1. Ramp Up Your Google+ Presence
It’s the most obvious one on the list, but it still needs to be said. Like it or not, Google has made it clear that G+ is here to stay – and it’s become too useful for an SEO not to take advantage it.
Though the network is still a lightweight compared to sites like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ is emerging as a champion heavyweight in search results.
As seen in the screenshot below, casual G+ posts are even showing up in search results:
Think Google+ search results are just limited to social search? Think again. Related Google+ users and pages show up in standard Web search, too: