Do you include Facebook as part of your search engine optimization (SEO) plan? Facebook has emerged as the social media platform that Google cannot ignore, and Facebook results on the Google SERP are rising.
Over 250 million people log into their Facebook accounts each day, which should give you pause. If you and your customers spend more time each day on Facebook than on Google, then you can understand why Google is paying attention to Facebook.
photo courtesy of benstein
I’ve written in the past about seeing social results on the Google search engine results page (SERP). At that time, Google struggled with relevance. Showing me the weather tweet of one of my Twitter followers when I searched for “weather” would only have been relevant if the tweet originated near my home. Otherwise, it was just a little creepy to realize that the big G is keeping track of whom I follow on Twitter and where our keywords collide.
Facebook Results On the Google SERP
This time however, I noticed something that I think could prove important for your SEO strategy in the future. I was testing out keywords for Where to Buy Quinoa and feeling rather proud of myself.
There are two things to note in this photo. (You can click on it to make it big.)
1. Facebook status on Google SERP
The top three results are all my website, but the fourth result is the website’s Facebook page.
I interpret this to mean that Google is paying attention to what people are saying on Facebook and you can build strong inbound links from Facebook to your site. Some suggest Google will probably find a way to assign more weight to inbound links from other users’ Facebook pages than from your own. I disagree. If your page is about your site, it makes organic sense that you would have links to your site from there.
Don’t ignore this logical SEO boost. Make sure every post or page has inbound Facebook link if you can.
I suspect you can also build visibility for your Facebook page by posting links and content on your wall containing keywords you are trying to dominate. In my example, it was the link in the status update that contained the word “Maine” not the page itself nor the text on the page. So Google is probing this deeply into your updates.
2. Vanity Search Results
I have been testing my sites’ rankings when I am logged out of Google because I heard that if you are logged into your Google account when you test the SERP, then Google will show you results it presumes you want see based on past behavior. This is likely to give you vanity results if you spend a lot of time on your own sites.
However, I hear from Eli Pariser that even when you aren’t logged into your Google account, Google notes your IP and location and tailors its results accordingly. We are all getting vanity results anyway and at this time I don’t know how individual marketers can overcome this problem to test data. My takeaway is that I don’t have to worry too much about being logged in for my searches because logging out won’t create an unbiased search.
At any rate, Facebook links contribute to ranking, and now seems like an opportune moment to mention that I have a Facebook page here, where I share writing, social media, and internet marketing tips and links with those who like me. Would you like to join us? Just follow that link and click “Like.”
Do You See Facebook Results in Your Searches?
I would love to hear your comments on this subject. Are any of you working on SEO for your websites or those of your customers? Have you seen any Facebook results on your Google SERP?