How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you run a website, you know how important search engine rankings can be. Getting your site on the first page of Google can bring in advertising dollars, an influx of new customers, or widespread awareness of your cause.

However, there is much more to ranking high on Google than just optimizing your website for certain keywords. Social media can help (or hurt!) your placement – and the folks at TastyPlacement have done a little testing to see how much Google+, Facebook and Twitter really do affect search results.

TastyPlacement created six websites based in six similarly-sized US cities. They let them be for ten months, and then began testing various social networks for each site, focusing on the following for sites 1-5:

  • Twitter followers
  • Tweets and retweets
  • Facebook shares and likes
  • Followers to the site’s Google+ business page
  • Google +1 votes to the homepage

The sixth site was left as-is for a control test.

They promoted these websites using the particular social network chosen for one month, and then measured how each site’s search engine ranking changed for a set of keywords.

So how did social media influence the search results?

Overall, the websites’ search rankings changed by between a fall of 1.22 to a rise of 14.63. This shows that social media does indeed affect search results.

Google’s own properties yielded the best results by far (let the conspiracy theories commence…). The website that was linked to a Google+ business page saw a full 14.63 rise in its search position, while the website that had a Google+ +1 button rose 9.44.

And these stellar results, sadly, did not translate to Twitter. Targeting tweets and retweets only got the website a 2.88 rise in Google’s search results, and procuring 1,000 additional Twitter followers actually caused another site’s position to fall by 1.22.

You can take a look at the full case study in the infographic below:

(Search engine image via Shutterstock)