Facebook and Twitter might be more obvious choices for sharing links, but a recent study by HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella shows that LinkedIn is the best social network for boosting search engine results.
“To complete this analysis, I compiled a database of more than 25,000 URLs that had been shared at least once on the three major social networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), were at least a month old, and had at least one incoming link,” Zarrella explained in a blog post. “First, I looked at the relationship between the number of times a URL was Tweeted and the number of incoming links it had pointing to it. I found a convincing positive relationship. Those URLs that got more Twitter love, also got more link love.”
He found the same to be true for Facebook and LinkedIn. “While all three networks did have a positive correlation, the strength of the relationship was strongest for LinkedIn,” Zarrella concluded.
Basically, the URLs that were shared on these social networks also tended to appear more often on other websites, giving them a higher page ranking on Google. Although a greater number of shares on Facebook and Twitter led to more incoming links overall, there were more incoming links per share on LinkedIn.
In this slideshow, HubSpot Founder Dharmesh Shah and SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin show a graph of these results, as well as some key findings from the 2012 State of SEO and Internet Marketing in 2012.