How to Obtain Fast High Search Rankings Through Social Signals

by Jason Acidre on May 22, 2011 · 44 comments · Search, Social


Social signals is one of the most notable addition to Google’s search ranking factors this year, as it is a strong indication of user activity or behavior on pages all across the web. These signals are basically retrieved from popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and perhaps soon via Google +1, determining pages that receive a lot of attention and social popularity in order to be returned as results to relevant search queries.

The main principle of Google and Bing in using these signals is to locate fresh, relevant and significant materials over the web (news, resource, etc) through viral sharing and natural prominence. However, these search engines do have factors to consider in measuring the durability of the content, for them to truly return quality sites on their end such as:

  • Quantity of social mentions on Twitter and/or Facebook.
  • Quality of social mentions measured through the social authority of the Twitter account.
  • Domain authority and Trustrank of the site hosting the content.

Getting the Targeted Search Terms to Rank

In using this model of off-page optimization, aiming for your post/page to rank on its targeted keywords heavily relies on the on-page factors – mainly with the inclusion of the target keywords in the page title (headline), URL as well as to have its content strictly pertain to the subject (your targeted keywords), given that the title of the page is more often than not used by people when they start sharing your content through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Case Study

On April 10, 2011, I published a blog entry about getting natural editorial links, and it did well as it was able to get tweeted several times in just minutes after being published. In less than 12 hours, the blog post managed to rank for several search terms on the top page of Google.

Position #10 for “editorial links” in less than 12 Hours – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker.

Position #12 for “in content links” in less than 12 hours – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Position #1 for “get editorial links” in less than 12 hours – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Position #2 for “get in-content links” in less than 12 hours – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Social Authority Plays a Big Role

After a few hours of being published, that entry reached several influential SEOs and bloggers, and they were quite generous enough to tweet about it.

Garrett French of Citation Labs

Seeing as that post was being mentioned by authority Twitter users, it has carried a huge amount of quality signals, which I think allowed it to reach the top page of Google in a short period of time for exact match phrases.

Rankings Garnered through Social Signals Fade Fast

Sending social signals to search engines can certainly make your pages rank high on SERPs instantly, although rankings obtained through it doesn’t last that long if compared to pages that have slowly reached that level through enduring link building efforts.

Not within Top 50 for “in content links” after 3 days – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Not within Top 50 for “get in content links” after 3 days – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Securing Rankings

Getting high rankings through Social signals is just the first phase of the strategy, as it is important to sequentially support the page’s optimization process by acquiring high quality incoming links to secure or further improve its rankings.

In this case, I continuously created support pages linking to it (both through internal and external content), and at the same time, it was also generating natural links from those who have genuinely liked it – with anchors varying naturally – after a week of publishing it. And up to now, the post has managed to secure some of its keyword rankings.

Rankings as of May 19, 2011 – exported via SEOBook’s Rank Checker

Applying to Landing Pages

A week ago (May 9, 2011), I tried testing this on my services page by changing its main targeted keyword – which was originally targeting for the search term “search engine optimization services” – to “link marketing services”.

Tweeted the page right after the title page modification

Retweeted by Don Rhoades after a few minutes

I didn’t build any links using the new keywords to direct to my services page, and all I did was to just share it on Twitter. That page wasn’t also ranking for the term “link marketing services”, not until that very same day, where it ranked from unranked to position #11.

Position #11 for “link marketing services” after few hours – via SEOmoz Rank Tracker

Special thanks to these cool people who have made this study possible:

10 Ways to Improve the Sociability of Your Content Strategy

1. Produce content that’s worth sharing

Everything that’s good in SEO starts with great content, the same as any effective link building tactics. A socially engaging content is mostly crafted through basic elements such as striking headlines, design, length and value of content as well as its reach (if it’s able to engage different sorts of readers – like from beginners, advanced, pros, etc). It’s vital to provide content that can generate interest and has the potential to go viral, basically to enhance its chances of getting more exposure on social networking sites. Here are some of the usual types of content that get shared:

  • Entertaining
  • Educational
  • Useful
  • Comprehensive
  • Infographics
  • First of its kind
  • Controversial
  • News

2. Leverage social sharing through strong call to actions

Most readers have tendencies of forgetting to share excellent content that they find, and leading them to take the action by simply mentioning it on your content’s closing part is as good as getting a sale, given that you have compelled them to not only help you market your piece, but also to make them remember who you are.   

3. Making social sharing buttons very visible

Make the process of sharing easier for your visitors by placing social sharing buttons on noticeable sections of the page. Allowing the number of tweets, shares or likes to be displayed can also entice visitors to reading more and eventually attract them to share your content.

4. Engage influencers through content

Targeting people in your industry that have strong fanbase on Twitter by citing or linking to them within your content can extremely enhance its chances of getting tweeted and retweeted by many authority and influential users. Several ways that you can do to engage influencers:

  • Interviews
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Blog round ups
  • List of best
  • Statement citations
  • Thematic resource

It’s also important to let them know that you have linked to them, through personal email or by mentioning them on your tweet.

5. Get invited to reach multiplier sites like Triberr

Triberr is a free online service that was created by Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo. The system simply allows your newly published content to be automatically tweeted by your tribe members and be shared to their followers, which basically amplifies the market reach of your content.

The best thing about this system is that you can get to choose the tribe you truly want to be a part of or invite/accept the members that will exclusively pass your tribe’s standards (number of Twitter followers, authority, etc…).

To join Triberr, you’ll first need to be invited by someone who’s already a member, as signing up for a new account is disabled, and I personally think that the site’s exclusivity will be its x-factor in keeping the program spam-free.

6. Sponsored tweets

Another option to improve social visibility to your content is to avail paid services from sites like Sponsoredtweets and Buysellads, where you can choose from their wide selection of authority Twitter users – that have thousands of followers – from different industries.

7. Personal networks

Sending direct requests to your personal networks is perhaps the easiest method to implement on any Twitter-outreach campaign, though it’s also the trickiest part, since we all don’t want to be abused in being consistently requested to share things.

It should be a two-way process in which the other end will also benefit from the relationship, which means you also have to help them in other means (like sharing their content to your own network, etc…). It’s best not to overdo this process and only implement it when it’s really necessary.

8. Sponsored FB shares on popular Facebook fanpages and groups in your industry

Buying advertising spots from popular pages and groups on Facebook can boost your content’s social shares, specifically on Facebook, given that these pages are able to reach thousands of individual news feeds who are really keen on your niche.

Searching for groups and fanpages is basically done through Facebook’s advanced search feature, where you can key in your targeted search term (industry) and then try getting results from groups and pages’ tab.

Once you have determined the pages/groups which you think can help amplify your content’s visibility, the next best move would be to identify the pages/groups’ administrators. The easiest way to acquire this information is by first checking their info, where the website or email address of the group is usually mentioned.

You can choose to immediately contact the page or group’s admin to inquire for paid advertisements (in form of FB shares) or you can also choose to establish yourself as a regular, and eventually an authority, contributor in the group to get those FB shares for free – particularly if you are genuinely contributing relevant information such as answers to questions posted by other members and in sharing other content (not yours) that can be useful to the group.

9. Build a strong and approachable brand

Developing your own social network accounts to be an authority is one of the best ways to enable your site in creating its own powerful signals, as having a strong social media presence will make it easier for your content to be more visible – to both users and search engines – through your own followers.

  • Responding to comments and Twitter mentions
  • Interacting and socializing with other relevant users on Twitter and Facebook
  • Increase your followers by providing solid content and by effectively marketing your brand
  • Connecting with people whom you think can help increase your Social popularity (by following their blog, retweeting their tweets, offering guest blogs, etc…)
  • Assuring your brand’s quality by utilizing Social Media as a channel for customer support
  • Constantly knowing what your followers want by asking questions.
  • Sharing more content and information that your followers would want to know more about and not links that will only benefit you.

10. Offer incentives

It’s easier to manipulate readers to take actions on things that you want them to act on if doing so will be advantageous to them. Offering incentives to those who’ll share your content can get you more chances of getting it in front of more possible site visitors. Below are some of the ways to get tweets and Facebook shares through incentives:

  • Use Cloudflood in your blog, wherein people who wish to download freebies (files such as free report, video, ebook, audio, excel sheet, etc…) from your site will be obliged to promote the hosting page via Twitter or Facebook.
  • Offer links to those who have shared your content (which what I’ve done on the experiment above).
  • Contest prize, where you can include social sharing as part of the contest’s mechanics (including actions such as liking on Facebook, following on Twitter, etc…).

If you enjoyed this entry, here’s what to do next:

Image Credit: Monstermagnet

to me
show details Apr 11
Tweeted and posted on the wall, btw I am really interested in results of the experiment to see how much social signals affect the serp.

my link:
logo design professional – http://www.dojodesign.info/
Best regards,
Mihajlo Vidovic

- Show quoted text -
On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 1:42 AM, Jason Acidre <kaiserthesage@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your time to participate in my mini SEO experiment :) Well first off, the experiment is about how social signals can leverage search rankings, wherein you’ll just have to share my new post on twitter and facebook; this post:


http://kaiserthesage.com/editorial-links/

And also, this experiment has a small twist:

- Use Google’s URL shortener – http://goo.gl and paste the shortened version of the URL when sharing the link through twitter and facebook, since I’m thinking that Google has more control over the clicks and stats on their own territory that might be another signal that they are using for search rankings.

As for the experiment’s results, I’m looking if it’s possible to make it rank for many keyword variations with just the help of social media:

- “editorial links”

- “in-content links”

- “natural links”

- “how to get natural links” etc…

After tweeting and sharing the link, please do get back to me with the URL of your site/page and your preferred anchor text to be used for the link (that will be included on my next post as I reveal what will happen on this experiment).

Thanks for participating and have a great day ahead!

Regards,

Jason of Kaiserthesage

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Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Rhoades May 22, 2011 at 7:09 am

Thanks for including me in this experiment Jason. Outstanding post, I really like what you are doing in the space. Cloudfood is an excellent recommendation! I also like that you mention how quickly social signal rankings can fade in contrast to a page that has links built to it over time. Keep it up, compadre!

Reply

Kaiserthesage May 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I’ve been noticing it a lot from my recent posts, they generate a lot of organic traffic through exact match keywords for days then will be lost after a week or so. That’s why building links is still important. Thanks for the kind words Don :) Hope we can do other experiments in the future.

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Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing May 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

Getting social is fine and dandy, lets just hope it doesn’t take over the king spot content now holds.

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Kaiserthesage May 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Totally agree with that Dennis! Without good content, people wouldn’t be sharing anything.

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Valerie May 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Amazing stuff Kaiser!!! I like how you are kind enough to show us screen shots and all. This is a lot of useful info and you even place it out in an easy to understand fashion.

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Kaiserthesage May 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thanks for the comment Valerie and I’m glad that you found this post useful :)

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Kira Permunian May 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Impressive! I couldn’t add anything more. You have just said it all there. Honestly, my first time to understand social signals and search ranking in depth. Thanks.

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Kaiserthesage May 23, 2011 at 4:50 am

Thanks Kira :) I was actually having doubts of publishing this, but glad it was still helpful.

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Johnny@ICICI Money To India May 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I also find this very informative and the screen shots are definitely the icing on the cake to make it easy to understand.

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Kristi Hines@Blog Marketing May 23, 2011 at 7:14 am

Now there’s one heck of a way to advertise that I didn’t think of – sponsored shares on Facebook. Is that a service now, or just something that some people do, and do they mark the shares as sponsored or as an ad?

Overall, great tips! Social sharing will definitely help get you to the top for the time being that your page is popular, and if you reinforce that popularity with some strong reference links, then you’ll be able to maintain good positioning for your topic!

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Kaiserthesage May 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Got that idea when one local group buying site here in the PH asked for my views on how to market those kinds of sites. One of their competitors was actually radical, they are buying Facebook fanpages that have thousands of likes, pretty awesome.

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Matt @ Qubok May 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

Excellent, informative and well thought out post. It’s also good to see somebody backing up their theories with hard proof (or as near as). I don’t think Google will ever place LOTS of emphasis on social channels because a lot of really good content, just won’t be shared (due to it’s subject matter mostly). But it’s certainly an interesting development.

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Kaiserthesage May 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I agree, there are just some industries that’s really uncool, but I do think that it’s still possible to make them as interesting as this niche. Perhaps an extreme list (like a list of top 1000 dog trainers in the world) would be a cool entry, though those kinds of content will really require weeks of research.

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Andrew Walker May 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Oh hey, this is a great share you have dude. Got really many great information from your post. These information are really useful for me and explained many things that I didn’t understand before. Thanks a lot man!

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Bingo Ventura May 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm

This is interesting…and comforting. Makes me feel more secure about giving quality content priority over social signals.

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lawmacs May 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

First thanks for the mentioned Jason these are some very useful information here this is the most deatiled article i have read about Social signals thanks for the heads up.

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John Mak June 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Hello Garrett! Nice information here. I didn’t try the social media yet for promoting my products but I am considering of making a start and soon because I believe there will be a lot of potential earnings! Thank you for these great tips!

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Amielle James@drupal consultants June 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

My marketing professor used to say; Location, Location, Location. And I was like, Content, Content, Content…There are other factors though that COULD help but I think it all boils down to content.

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katrina June 4, 2011 at 12:30 am

awesome…great tips..it should be two ways in the best thing to choose where u can benefit in social ranking…

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Shivam Garg June 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Nice post Kaiser.You have explained really well the concept of getting higher rankings through the use of social signals.I think content and marketing are indispensable to a blog .Thanks for the information.

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waterpearls June 8, 2011 at 4:58 am

Hi Kaiser,
It is a very nice and informative post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on how to obtain fast high search rankings through social signals.You well explained the topic and it is helpful for many readers.

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Andy @ iNet Seo June 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Great post! It is great to see so much information in one place. I will certainly be using part of your findings in a presentation to my MD :)

Cheers,

Andy

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Zaman@Online Casinos July 13, 2011 at 12:36 am

Must say, now this is really cool, people, more particularly the SEO geeks really wondering to get more and more information about social signals and sites, though, this is the place where they can get quite sufficient information, thanks for that, appreciated. Surely after reading the entire content, people gonna get their PR towards the it’s heights, only if they implemented each and everything the way you stated. Thanks. Keep it up.

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John@how to make distilled water August 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

Wow, this is a great post. Especially where you outline the tips about how to use social media and then use it for yourself as a case study. We can learn a lot from you. You are working at Affilorama that created Traffic Travis so you know what you are talking about. I am also a TRaffic Travis user. Great software by the way..
Will surely stay on your blog for more information.

Ps have a question regarding comments: I see many use name and link in the comment box. For example: waterpearls(name) recently posted..SOS Online Backup Coupon(link).
How can we achieve this and can this only be done if keywordluv is enabled?
I know its off topic but i see you know a lot of seo,thank you

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Noel Addison September 30, 2011 at 6:42 am

One point about offering incentives. The new CommentLuv Premium I think is a good idea since it gives commenters a choice to tweet, plus, or like your post in exchange for more recent posts to be displayed along with that comment.

I’m curious though, you said that rankings garnered through social signals fade fast. But your seo-shop page is still on the first page for the “link marketing services” keyword. Is it all because of the experiment you did or did you fortify it with other links?

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David March 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

Social signals are extremely helpful for marketing, but they’re becoming increasing scary from a personal information and privacy angle. Who to trust more, Facebook or Google? :)

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Cerita Lucu April 29, 2014 at 6:22 am

Getting social is fine and dandy, lets just hope it doesn’t take over the king spot content now holds.

Reply

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