If you’ve been dabbling in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you already know that social media is playing a bigger and bigger in ranking in the search engines. But if you’re like most people who haven’t really mastered SEO, you’re probably wondering how social media affects your search engine rankings.

Search engines take into consideration many different factors when indexing and ranking content. Social media is becoming one of those many variables.

There are basically two parts to doing SEO work, online optimization and offline optimization. Online optimization is related to the web pages. Offline optimization, meanwhile, refers to link building. Social media links are a new type of link that the search engines recognize.

Links for your content on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube help the search engines decide which websites should be ranked for what keyword phrases.

For example, a link that’s been shared so many times on social media will have higher visibility in the search engines because many have chosen to share it. Make sure you promote your most powerful content on social media to gain traffic, not only from the search engines but also from your social media audience.

Within the last few years, the search engines have become more into social signals. But aside from being a factor in the rankings, social signals also speeds up how fast the content gets indexed. So, if you have new content, just tweet it. It will be indexed faster.

In order to make the most social media links, you need to build a real social media presence. Do NOT buy fake Twitter or Facebook followers, unless if you are buying in order to index your content.

How do you build a social media following? There are several ways to go about this. You could advertise your business and point the link to your social media profile. Of course, there are free ways to go about it, like being active in communities related to your business.

Once you have a sizeable following, engage those followers and encourage them to share your content.

What factors affect the value of a social media link? The search engines usually consider several factors: the number of social media shares, who is sharing the content, and how many followers and friends that content sharer has. Ideally, the one who is sharing content should be the influencer in your industry.

If you are still building your content, the first thing you need to do is to find the influencers in your industry the ones who have a lot of followers and are actively engaging their followers. Make contact with them, but first, create content and offer an incentive to make them take a look at your content.

Next, create a profile that is filled up with relevant information on your business. Incorporate your company’s name and your most relevant keywords in your profile. Make sure to also include your company’s URL and description.