Social media is becoming an integral part of our lives as the days go by. Not only are social media sites great places to socialize, they have also become great places for people to run businesses and even carry on politics. Search engines have realized this rising significance in social media and recent studies on search engine rankings reflect this. Google has even admitted to taking into consideration the social media presence of sites in determining the order of ranks. Sites which therefore have more Facebook likes, Google+ scores, many twitter followers and extensive presence in other social sites have a higher chance of being on the first page than those which are not. ‘
Since Google and other search engines seek to give the most relevant results, they take into consideration the social media presence basing on the fact that the more presence a site has, the more relevant it is. The way search engines rank pages has been variously compared to a popularity contest in that the more other sites refer to yours, the more search engines are likely to think of you as more relevant. The same principle applies to this case. Boosting your sites presence in social media, whether it is through active participation or by being discovered, will definitely work towards boosting your standings.
Social Media is also a great platform to build valuable back links back to your site. Sites such as Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon have over time proven to be great sources of traffic for many site owners. Other than generating valuable direct traffic from such sites, they are also good for increasing the number of links linking back to your site. This is useful for site owners since most search engines usually take into consideration the number of links that a website has in determining its rank on their pages.
Since people are increasingly spending more and more time in these sites, social media sites become central in brand creation and building. Since branding is the only way that a site can set itself apart from the rest, providing useful information and great products through social media sites is great in building a brand. Having people talk about you in social media circles will also be good for creating awareness of your brand and thus increasing traffic to your site. This will in the long run be good for your search engine standing.
Having quality links linking back to your site, establishing a brand and having presence in your niche are factors that search engines find useful in ranking. Recent studies on the effect of the updates made by Google are testament to this fact. Al these factors are to a large extent determined or provided by the various social media sites available in the internet. Social media sites have essentially changed the playing field and it is for the various site owners to adapt to the change or have their rankings suffer. When exploited rightly, these sites provide a great way to rank higher in search engine results in an efficient and more effective way.