The rapid growth in popularity of social media has caught the attention of the major search engines like Google and Bing. In October 2009, Google Social Search was launched, which delivers results for the terms you searched from within your online social circle. By October, Bing implemented a new feature that delivers ‘Liked by Your Friends’ in Facebook information along with the search results. Many website owners interested in achieving page one rankings in the major search engines for the terms important to them wondered if their popularity on the social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others could or would influence their rankings.
Well as it turns out, it does to some degree. In a recent interview with search engine guru Danny Sullivan, quoted here at seomoz.org, a Bing representative stated the search engine does “look at the Social Authority of a user.
Tweets from more authoritative people will flow to the top when best match relevancy is used.” Google uses what it terms ‘Author Authority’ for both organic and news rankings. Google also looks to see how many people share a news article, much the same way Twitter ranks the top re-tweeted Tweets and Tweet topics. Google’s Author Authority and Bing’s Social Authority rank content according to their proprietary ‘authority’ scores. Google points out, however, that Author Authority differs from and is separate from PageRank, which impacts where on the search results pages a web page may be listed.
I highly recommend you read the post at seomoz.org for the ideas the author presents. Concerning search engine optimizing the social media content you produce, as always you want to include the keywords around which you are building your authority. You’ll want to keep your titles brief, containing only one or two keywords, so that the search engines can easily find your content.
Build your Followers by providing important content that is interesting to them. Reach out to new Followers both online and offline. Build a community among other “authoritative authors” who also write about the same subjects as you. And by all means, keep your social media sites, as well as your website, updated regularly with fresh, relevant and interesting content that makes readers want to share it with others.