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Do social media feeds help SEO?

Moving up in the search results
Moving up in the search results
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

There are many optimizers out there with many differing opinions on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, so I decided to run some testing of my own on a variety of techniques that our team at Terrostar Interactive Media feel are beneficial to SEO. Specifically, I wanted to know first-hand how effective, if at all, having a homepage social media feed is in regards to higher search engine rankings. We generally use this type of feed to increase clients’ social media activity but we have several clients using both our social media marketing services as well as our SEO services, so the question was warranted on several accounts.

While doing my preliminary research, I found several articles with differing opinions on whether or not there was an actual SEO benefit to placing a live social feed on a website. To several optimizers, this practice is considered a waste of time. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity for fresh content, which we know Google loves. Could this be the perfect solution to producing a constant stream of dynamically driven content? After all, this method automates the process while filling a need, covering your bases for those times that there just isn’t anything new or noteworthy to add to your site.

I ran a test on our own website, www.terrostar.com, which streams our Twitter feed. Google+ is another good option for obvious reasons (Google products tend to be favored by Google, the number one search engine in the world). As far as the latest public update this past December, our site is a PR4 with a domain age of about 15 years. I paired that up with the Rank Tracker software inside the Moz Pro software to track daily rankings of specific keywords that were in the feeds. Keep in mind, our site is crawled by Google every 1-2 days because of our regular content updates.

Away I went tracking the keywords our internet marketing team was using in their tweets. So now the question you are all here to have answered – did the social feed on our homepage affect our SEO results, and, if so, by how much? It absolutely improved the search engine rankings for those keywords, and pretty dramatically. I was seeing keywords that were previously not in the top 50 results jumping to pages two and three. Even I was amazed to find these improvements that were a result of a simple social feed. On average I was seeing a jump of 27 points per term, which is pretty dramatic.

Concluding my test, social media feeds absolutely impact search engine results, barring your social posts are regular and keyword dense (not too many, not too few). Not only that, this best practice keeps your site interesting and creates awareness for your social efforts! It was a great test that allows us to educate others on the importance of having a homepage social media feed.