How context in social media influence rankings in SEO
Lately some articles are talking about 'web references', 'citations' or 'context', I like to name it, as relevant signal and how this can influence rankings specially for local search.
Now I moved from Barcelona to Vancouver to live some years there, came to my mind it was a nice opportunity to run a little text about this specific subject and get facts and figures more than hypothesis.
To isolate better the effects of test, I did not change anything in this website and the amount of incoming links was the same during all the process. Short time. by the way. Maybe the google caffeine update is starting to make it faster, not sure but lately I can see new pages appear at index really fast.
Testing steps and results
- First I checked the position of this blog at google.ca rankings for the keywords 'seo consultant' and it was between 39 and 41.
- Then I changed any reference to location 'Barcelona, España' for 'Vancouver, Canada' in these three profiles: Twitter, Linkedin and Google profile where there are links to this blog.
- Not a single anchor text in links changed, just plain text in those pages.
- Waited for Google to reindex them all, et volilà, the blog flight up to position 7-9 at google.ca of course.
Maybe Google though: if this guy is saying everywhere he is now in Canada and not anymore in Spain his blog should rank better at my .ca version.
Fantastic! but, you know how SEO is, this things must be handled with care and not making any rule of thumb from them specially if it only has been tested just one/few times.
Take into account that the only thing changed was location, no references to 'seo consultant' what helped anyway to climb the SERPs for the desired Canadian Google site.
Now I've changed he title to see if there is this helps a bit more but this is another story.
During the presentation of Barbara 'Webmama' Coll at IMC Vancouver she talked about how social media is a big playground to expand SEO tactics and here it is where I want to bring the whole thing.
Social media not only from the perspective of a resource to bring more traffic to websites creating brand awareness or buzz in the audience, not even as one more strategy of a link building campaign, just as another way, I want to state, to optimize text beyond the website itself.
The same way sites in your link neighborhood describe yours, as more contextual content you create around a site, in other related social media sites, the better yours is defined, not only for humans but for search engines too and a better definition seems to pay its benefits in rankings.
So, the thing seems to be quite clear, do your keyword distribution along website structure, expand it to any other social media pages you have in your hands and check how this can help your site, it is not going to hurt your site in the worst of cases.
Humans are social beings and the way others are describing you is a big part of you so it is expected to search engines imitate humans somehow. Don't you think?
Any other similar x-files? Opinions welcome.