There has been a lot of debate around whether social links can influence SEO. Google itself has gone back and forth on this issue, first stating that social links are important before dismissing them as ineffective when it comes to influencing website rankings. So, what do you need to know about the value of social links for SEO? Let’s take a look. 

What is a social link? 

Social linking is the practice of linking to your website via social media platforms and is often categorised broadly as social SEO. Sharing links to your content via social media can help to boost your brand recognition and drive traffic to your site. 

But a key thing to realise about social linking is that it might not have a direct impact on the ranking of your site because all links are based on their reference weight. For instance, links from Facebook and Google+ are non-follow links, which renders them ineffective from a ranking perspective. 

What’s more, Twitter links use a redirect feature and only send links to a specific resource after a 301-redirect. As such, the practice of social linking doesn’t have a direct impact on your site’s ranking on Google. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for SEO, as we explain below.

Is social link building a valuable SEO practice? 

When you invest in a social SEO strategy, one of the advantages is that you’re likely to increase traffic to your website. Sharing links to pages on your site can increase the number of people who visit your website, particularly if you have a decent following on social media. As such, traffic increases can undoubtedly boost your website’s rankings. 

What’s more, investing in an effective social media strategy can help with your site’s appearance on a Search Engine Results Page (SERPS). This is because Google and other search engines use social signals to rank your site. 

Another advantage is that social links contribute to the authority of your site. If search engines recognise that people are sharing your social links, they interpret this as authenticity and the fact that your content is credible and worth sharing. Social links can also help with your site indexing, which is a notoriously slow process for new websites. 

So, when it comes to SEO value, social links are undoubtedly valuable, but they won’t necessarily boost your site’s rankings by themselves. Therefore, you need to include social links as part of a broader SEO strategy in order to realise their value. 

Building effective links for your website

Your website’s rank is impacted by both inbound and outbound links, so it’s really important to invest in a link-building campaign that helps to increase your search engine visibility. As mentioned, social links are also valuable, but for different reasons than inbound and outbound links, so you should act to cover all bases. 

At Footprint, we help businesses execute effective link-building strategies and appear prominently on Google and other search engines. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business and keep in touch with our latest news via our blog.

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