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New evidence that social media marketing supports SEO

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 20 Aug, 2012
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Showing how great content generates more backlinks AND social shares

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Recommended link: SEOmoz post by DanZarrella

Dan Zarrella, the “social media scientist” who works for Hubspot these days, has created a lot of interesting analysis over the years which is great for giving practical ideas of how to improve social media communications - the infographic at the bottom of this post on what is effective in Facebook is one example.

He recently wrote a guest post on SEOmoz I thought was worth sharing since it gives some evidence to help answer the often-asked question - “(How) does Social media marketing support SEO?

Of course, the number (and especially quality) of inbound links is vital to effective SEO in competitive markets, so this research looks at the correlation of sharing on the social networks with number of backlinks for content share. The results show some positive correlation:

It suggests that LinkedIn is potentially most effective in generating links. The research is perhaps more convincing when looking at the individual charts for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example:

You’re probably thinking, “but correlation does not equal causation” and you’d be right to think so; as some commenters point out, you could turn it on its head and say that URLs with a lot of links tend to get shared more on social media. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The research really only confirms the power of quality content in gaining links AND shares. That’s why effective content used to be called linkbait and is now sometimes called sharebait!

Here is the other recent research summary from Dan I thought you might find interesting:

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By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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