SEO Update: Social Media and Search Rankings

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Posted on Aug 19th 2013
Ever since Facebook and Twitter became an integral component of every company’s online marketing campaign, debate has raged about how far social media will overtake traditional SEO when it comes to ranking highly in search. 
Most marketers agree that a consistent, well thought out social media strategy can boost a website’s organic search rankings, but to what extent?

Let’s take a closer a look at the story so far.
Social Search
It has now been over a year since we first started hearing about ‘social search’, a highly personalised type of web search that integrates content from a user’s own social media network into standard search results. Social Search first appeared on the scene with the introduction of Google’s much discussed ‘Search, Plus Your World’. The game-changing feature combined standard search results with relevant links, profiles, photos and comments pulled from an individual’s own Google+ social network, personalising search and acting something like a virtual recommendation from a friend. Before long, Facebook and Bing announced their own versions of social search, indicating that the new breed of search was here to stay.

In recent months, there has been further evidence of the changing direction of Search in the form of Google Authorship, a fairly new feature which encourages online content creators to build their reputation by allowing them to link content they’ve created to their Google+ page. Now it seems who is doing the social sharing is just as important as the content itself. 
SEO and Social Media: Drawing the right balance
Now that social media is being taken seriously as a tool for boosting search rankings, how can your resort make the most of the available social channels?
Apart from regularly maintaining your social media profiles to ensure your resort gets noticed in social search, the old online adage ‘content is king’ remains key. If you haven’t done so already, your first priority should be to integrate social sharing buttons into your resort’s website and blog so your web visitors can easily share your content with their social network connections. You should also investigate if the content you are sharing on Facebook and Twitter is actually creating more links to your content or simply generating more ‘Likes,’ since links carry more weight when it comes to search ranking. 

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