“Does Social Media Presence Influence SEO?” Google Responds

Are all those social media gigs going to result in higher rankings? There might be an exception...
SIA Team
November 2, 2021

Google often holds what are called Office-Hours. These are Q&A sessions where webmasters can ask questions to a Google employee. 

In our case, these are English SEO Office-Hours, which are hosted by Search Advocate John Mueller

During the English Google SEO Office-Hours From October 29, 2021, at around the 34-minute, 54-second mark (queued video below), someone had submitted this question:

“Does presence in social media channels influence SEO? For example, [does] more followers, likes, shares, social media live links equal better PageRank?” 

John’s Response, With a Possible Exception

“No. So, for the most part, we don’t take into account the social media activity. 

“When it comes to rankings, the one exception I think that could kind of play a role here that we don't special-case social media sites, but we do sometimes see them as normal web pages, and if they're normal web pages and they have actual content on them and links to other pages, then we can see them as any other kind of web page.”

Social Media Profiles May Be Seen as Normal HTML Pages

“So, for example, if you have, let's say...a social media profile somewhere, and it links to individual pages from your website, then we can see that profile as a normal web page, and if those links are normal HTML links that we can follow, then we can treat those as normal HTML links that we can follow.

“Also, that profile page: if it's a normal HTML page, it can be something that can be indexed as well.  It can rank in the search results normally like anything else, so it's not a matter of us doing anything special for social media sites or those social media profiles, but rather...well...many cases, these profiles and these pages are normal HTML pages as well, and we can process those HTML pages just like any other HTML page.”

Apparently, Google Doesn’t Look at Social Media Metrics

John also said: 

“But we wouldn't go in there and say, ‘Oh, this profile has so many likes, therefore, we will rank the pages that are associated with this profile higher.’ 

“It's more that, ‘Well, this is an HTML page and it has some content and maybe it's associated with other HTML pages and linked together and based on this kind of better understanding of this group of pages, we can rank those pages individually.’ But it's not based on the social media metrics.”

For me, this was interesting to hear, because there are SEOs who think that social media metrics help to create the idea that your site gets natural traffic. As part of their SEO process, they even recommend that you stimulate social media activity.

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel