Last week we hosted a webinar conducted by SEO expert Michael Fleischner. He is one of the world’s most well-known SEO experts. During the webinar he unveiled some data that we had never heard before and data that, frankly, surprised most of the people attending the webinar. He said this:
“It is clear that Facebook Shares are the single highest correlated metric with higher Google Rankings.”
This information is not exclusive to Michael Fleischner. Since he brought it to our attention we’ve seen vast amounts of research on the subject. The most comprehensive is a study by SearchMetrics.com. Turns out that Facebook Shares and the Sum of all Facebook Activities (Shares, Likes and Comments) are the most significant social media-based SEO factors.
Interestingly, for the last year Google has been pushing Google+ links and +1s as critical for SEO. Turns out their own algorithm is still giving Facebook the highest social media authority by far. There are up to 10 Facebook activities that are ranked higher than anything done on Google+. This stunned even the most SEO-savvy marketers in the webinar.
This demonstrates two important things:
1. Despite the lip-service Google gives Google+ they still realize that Facebook is the most critical social media platform for businesses and consumers. I don’t know whether this proves that Google puts the sanctity of its algorithm above even their own interests (promoting Google+), or if it means they weren’t entirely truthful when they told us Google+ was critical to SEO.
(Probably a little of both).
2. Companies have to focus on Facebook again. We are guilty of focusing on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ at the peril of Facebook. We took our eye off the Facebook ball. We’re repenting and returning to Zuckerberg’s brainchild.
The keys to marketing effectively on Facebook are the same as on any other social media platform. You first need to share useful content that is high quality, informational and entertaining. Additionally, you need to actually use the social network to…social network. The beauty of social media is the ability to reach out individually to people sharing your interests and passions.
Businesses don’t succeed in this effort very often.