Though search engine giant Google has been tight-lipped on the actual connection between a strong presence on social media and an increase in a website’s ranking in a search results page, several websites were able to show that strong social signals were indeed able to improve SEO.
For instance, Moz was able to get ranked on Google for their “Beginner’s Guide” after Smashing Magazine shared it on Twitter. Shrushti, meanwhile, was able to jump from an unknown website at page 400 to one that ranked on the first page, purely due to social media.
An Increase in Traffic
It seems that what Google would like to see from websites is traffic stemming from social signals. These let search engines know that your site is being talked about, especially when these social signals like tweets and likes begin to turn into social shares. With more shares come more inbound links (as people begin linking to your content), thus giving you a win for your SEO efforts.
An Increase in Domain Authority
There may be no hard data to support this, yet it’s possible for a website’s overall authority to increase with social signals. As your website gains more traffic and links, search engines begin to see your website’s perceived value and authority. Thus, instead of social signals, Google will view them as “brand signals”, something that can contribute to a rise in your website’s rankings.