There are quite a few ways that social media is used by search engines, especially Google, which is cute due to the fact that it was only around four years ago that Google were saying they would not use social media to index and rank the entries on in their search engine because social media was too easy to manipulate.
Google focuses more on Big Data via the information it mines from user engagement and search engine usage than it depends on keywords. This has not always been the case, but Google has grown and even changed its indexing structure via the Google Hummingbird update. All of this was done to help Google apply what it has learnt about its users to its search engine index and entry ranking.
What better place to learn about people than with social media. Google can find out where people live, what they are interested in, and people’s actions can help interpret what they click and why. As a result, social media is directly responsible for the fact that SEO has gotten easier. There is less need to create web pages that are made for search engines. You can simply produce websites that are all about the user, and thanks to social media, Google will pick up on this and rank your website accordingly.
You may read on the Internet that Google and other search engines use social media to figure out what is popular and what is not. One may then assume that things that are popular on social media are therefore ranked higher, but this is an oversimplification.
Google are well aware that people can buy hundreds of thousands of likes and thumbs up on social media, and they are also aware that buzz factories can create a lot of noise on social media. Google will not automatically rank entries up in their search engine results because they relate to something popular online, but they may use it to verify the popularity of your website.
For example, if your website is suddenly becoming more popular, Google may start to rank it up the search engine results. In order to validate the website’s rise up the search engine results, the program may scan statistics from social media to confirm a website’s popularity.
It is not as handy as you may assume. It will help you rank up the search engine results, but there are a great many other things you need to do too. Social media is just a small piece of the puzzle.
One of the great things about Google+ (so you know, Google+ is going from strength to strength), is that if you are reasonably well followed, you can share a link to your website to your followers, and Google will be more likely to crawl the page you shared to link to than they would if you hadn’t. Basically, if you draw attention to a web page on Google+ by sharing it with the people that follow you (on your wall), then Google will crawl your page soon afterwards. It is good to know if you have some fresh content you want to publish and show people quickly before it expires.