What Social Signals Mean for SEO in 2013 and Beyond

April 8, 2013
by Kimberly Treacy

    Social Signals in Omaha SEOThe SEO world is changing. More and more, Google is making it so people determine what ranks where. How? Through something the geeks over at Google have decided to dub “social signals”. As you continue reading, Big Red SEO will show you how social signals affect SEO, and how you can improve the way Google perceives your business by using them.

    It’s important to know exactly what social signals are, as they generate when a user shares your content. With the advent of social networking sites, Google has a brand-new pool of resources to pull data from. For the biggest search engine on the planet, incorporating social networks quickly became an obvious must. Now, a page that gets Retweeted a bunch of times on Twitter is going to rank higher in Google than a competitor’s page that doesn’t. In 2013 and beyond, how many Retweets, Likes, and especially +1s that you get are going to become more and more important.

    Are Google Places Social Signals?

    Yes and no. Think of them more like the prequel to social signals. Before social networks became a part of everyday business, Google used review sites such as Yelp, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor and their own Google Places in their search engine. They knew that users LOVED review sites (which they still do) because they’re so insightful. But, while Google displayed these reviews in their search results, they weren’t an actual ranking factor outside of Places’ results. In other words, a business with lots of good reviews on their Places page showed higher in the specific “Places” section of the results, but those reviews didn’t affect the business’ actual website ranking.

    Hardcore Social Signals with Google+

    Many non-SEO folks don’t know this, but there is only one reason that Google+ ever gained any traction as a social network. From the start, Google made it clear to webmasters that +1s (the equivalent of a Facebook Like) would have a direct effect on website ranking. In doing so, they essentially forced SEOs and webmasters to adopt their network. And guess what? Released in June 2011, Google+ had surpassed 250 million users within one year. By December 2012 it had 500 million. It’s now officially the fastest growing social network ever, and the second most popular on the planet behind Facebook.

    So, What Should You Take Away from This?

    • Google is serious about using social sharing to influence rankings.
    • If you want more online traffic, get on board with as many of Google’s services as possible. Especially Google Places and Plus.
    • Start publishing shareable content that will allow your website to rank higher for more keywords.

    If this all sounds like too much work for you, don’t worry. It’s intimidating for most people. Fortunately, our team at Big Red SEO would love to talk to you more about improving your business’ social presence and Omaha SEO. Contact us anytime to learn more about getting customers through social and search marketing. We’d be happy to help.

    Kimberly Treacy


    Kimberly Treacy (Talbot) is an SEO Guru with a ‘no bullshit’ attitude. As the owner of Big Red SEO, she provides companies of all sizes what they need to know to get their business in front of those looking for their services and products. Big Red SEO is one of the few search engine optimization companies that offers ‘industry exclusivity’ meaning we only work with one company within an industry and their market at a time.