A lot of people ask me how social signals can benefit their SEO.  Some people claim that because they have a “nofollow” attribute, there is no real benefit to getting social signals.  That is not correct, however, as from my testing there can be great benefits for getting social signals pointing to your website.  Here are some of my thoughts on the different ways getting social signals can benefit your SEO.

Boosting Domain Authority

I always recommend publishing content regularly.  Along with that, if you can get tweets, pins, etc. to your newly published content, you will really help boost your domain authority.  Domain authority is the name of the game these days to rank well in Google, so this is definitely a good thing.  The more social signals you get to more pages on your site, the faster you will be able to build domain authority.

Direct Increases In A Page’s Rankings

I have done some testing where I ran Facebook ads to a specific page on a site that I was trying to rank more highly.  The ad got lots of likes and a decent number of shares.  The site did move up within a week after the ad was started.  I ran the test several more times and saw a similar increase in the rankings.  I do believe it is therefore possible to see an increase in your rankings for a specific page just by getting an increase in social signals.

Boosting The Links That Go To Your Site

If you get a link from a site that is authoritative, but the article that links to you gets no social shares, the power flowing to your site won’t be very higher.  I have seen many different times that the push in rankings from a link is much higher when that link is accompanied by lots of social signals.  Social signals are an additional indicator to Google that the content is good and trustworthy, so this makes a lot of sense.

A Caveat

Having said this, nothing beats the raw power of good, relevant links.  If you have a site about cats, you will greatly benefit by having lots of other sites about cats link to you.  Social signals shouldn’t be your only linking strategy.  Networking in your niche and trying to get high-quality, relevant links is still the best way to ensure long-term SEO success.

Overall, social signals can be very beneficial, but they should be used in tandem with other great white-hat SEO strategies.