From our testing, we know that certain social media sites pass juice. Specifically, we know that Google+ and YouTube will pass juice. This is not surprising as they are Google properties.
Taking things a step further, we tested if we could supercharge and automate our link building strategy by simply firing many social media links to a test page using a Fiverr gig.
While we know that we’ll get juice from Google+, we haven’t specifically tested other sites. In our minds, this is ok because at a minimum, we’ll get cloud cover from the other sites. It will also look a little more ‘natural’, as though a particular piece of content went viral across several platforms.
Even if Google+ passes juice, we’re going to get a bunch of links from several different accounts. We’ll see if we can get great results from a lot of social backlinks.
For this test, 5 pages were set up with identical content and with a keyword density of 2%. We submitted the urls to Google Search Console and once the number 3 spot was clear, we sent the social backlinks to that URL using the Fiverr gig to the the social backlinks.
We like to use the site in the middle so we can observe the rankings if they go up or down. This strategy gives us the ability to access if there is a positive or negative effect.
At first, only 3 out of the 5 pages showed as indexed – the target page was dropped. On June 10th, ranking changed and several of the social backlinks indexed. The target page moved from #3 to #2.
On June 14th, two Pinterest links moved into the 1st and 2nd position. These links are from the same Pinterest page. The Pinterest page involved is an active page with regular ‘pinnings.’
Looks like we’ll be testing Pinterest on its own soon!
A few days later on June 20th, the Pinterest links have dropped down and the test pages are back up at the top. The target page is still in the #2 spot.
In addition, there are now four results page containing Google+ and Pinterest links.
So moving up one spot really isn’t exciting, especially when we were able to get the same results from just one link in other tests.
There are several reasons why we might not have gotten amazing results. One possibility is that some of the accounts in the Fiverr gig might be flagged or it could be that you only get a little boost from these types of links.
A member of our group, Lester Sim, posted a case study result showing a decent boost from social signals. We’ll stick with this to see if we can find a winning formula for consistent wins with social backlinks.
For now, we would advise having social backlinks as part of your strategy, but we wouldn’t be investing too much time and money to focus the majority of our link building on these types of links.
In this video, Clint talks about this test and his outlook on using social media sites as backlink sources.
This is test number 36 – Do Links From Social Media Actually Help Your Ranking.
What we’re looking at here in particular was some Pinterest and Google Plus. Back then, Cora was actually finding correlations between rankings and Google Plus for some keywords. It wasn’t exclusive to all of them, but it was there a lot. Obviously, at the time of this test, Google Plus was alive and well and brand new is actually working pretty good for backlink building. But now they’ve since killed it, just what Google does, right, they couldn’t compete as well with Facebook. And honestly, I think it was more about change than it was anything else. And, frankly, I liked a lot of Google Plus features. I liked the groups and stuff, but I just wasn’t a fan of the profile system and the way that worked. But it’s changed. And so Google tried it, it didn’t work, and now it’s gone.
But Pinterest is still there. And you can actually rank pages with Pinterest and do it all the time. You make a nice unique image for your posts that were shared on Pinterest. And then that backlink actually works pretty well, as well as brings in a lot of traffic. If you’re using the infographics from the previous test on Pinterest, and it’s an interesting infographic, you can get a lot of traffic.
But you really got to test your markets, not every market is going to be the same. My SEO site doesn’t see anything from Pinterest. But I got a couple other websites that are nothing to do with marketing, but more to do with specific niches. And the traffic comes in just fine as a matter of fact, is my number one traffic source, which is awesome.
The test here is kind of what we expected, the pages did move, they were in one and two, and then the social media sites came in and took over, you’re gonna see that a lot happen when you’re building web pages, and you try to use links from social media, the social media sites will take over the rankings for the web pages. And frankly, it’s because you’re just relying too much on that one social media link and you don’t have other backlinks to support the vote that the social media link is giving you. Typically what you want to do in my case is build other backlinks from different sources and flip those around so that your money site is number one, and then your social media URLs is number two.
The goal you’re looking for is to take over as much as the SERP as possible. And if all roads lead to your shopping cart, then it doesn’t matter if you’re ranking in money pages, social media page, or web two or whatever, as long as the customer can follow that journey and get to your actual point of where the conversion is. That’s the name. You’re winning now at that point, right>
But from a live link building perspective, again, you can rank with these just by themselves. You can use them in tiers, and boost them up so that they have more power. Just know that the social media site more than likely will outrank your website for a while until you build some other tier ones to your website and it’ll flip that over and then you’ll be just fine.
There are segments of the community who say, oh, social media sites don’t do you any good. That’s such complete and utter crap and it’s complete lack of understanding of the purpose of social media sites, one link building, you get the benefit out of that Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, not Instagram, Tiktok, I’ve even played with ,Reddit for sure, you can get backlinks out of this. So there’s one benefit.
The second benefit is promoting. If you write a great piece of content, all those people that profess high quality content, that’s how you get backlinks, you create high quality content. Well, Mr. Wizard, how do they find that high quality content in the first place, and frankly, it’s through your promotion efforts, social media, your web 2 networks, your syndication networks, your press releases, all of those things tell the world – hey, I have this piece of content – and that’s how you get the ball rolling in SEO, and how you get the ball rolling in natural link building.
Those links do count – promotional, and for backlinks.
And finally, the third is traffic. Most of those sites, especially if you have a nice good audience over there, and then I’m not talking like millions of people, you can have 100 followers and if 50% of them actually go to your website every time you post and that’s a win for you. It’s traffic win you’ve captured that audience and you’ve got them back into your messaging. That’s the goal. And you can do that with multiple social media sites and be just fine.
So traffic, backlinks, and promotion.
And finally, keep this in mind. Don’t try to be everywhere for everything. It’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to be on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Tiktok, Snapchat, Instagram, you’re never going to be able to have the time to do all those things, pick a couple and leverage those.
For my agency, I use Facebook, and we use Twitter sometimes. And then I have access to some free slack groups that are social media stuff for me. And obviously, YouTube. YouTube is a good social media channel and those links count.
Just pick your favorites, and then go from there, add more as you deem necessary, but if you like three or four of them are getting you all the traffic and links and promotion that you need, then stick with us. There’s no sense in going out and building a whole bunch of them for nothing, for no reason other than the initial profile backlink there is. Other than that, there’s no sense in trying to maintain a presence online, all those
All right, I hope test number 36 is useful for you. You get some insights out of it.
What I would do if I was taking this information is really I just, you know, start using Pinterest for sure and start thinking about how I am going to build more tier ones to get my site over to Pinterest and typically, that’s really just a couple of the backlinks and then you’ll be okay.
We have more tests on different types of links that you could use. We will test to see if they are effective in boosting rank or if they are just a waste of money and time. Check out our test articles for more details.