I was speaking to someone who makes in excess of $100,000 a month from his blog. He says that posting links on social networks does not, in any way, contribute to getting one's hub to rise on the SERPS.
My reasoning has always been that if I post links on social networks, then my hubs get read more frequently and this, in turn, gets picked up by Google. When there are a lot of readers, then Google pushes it up the SERPS.
Have I got something wrong here?
He said a better way was to contact bloggers who wrote about the same thing and ask them to post the link. My thinking has been if someone is writing about the same thing, why would they want to post a link to your hub?
I don't believe it. What I do believe is that traffic and time-spent-on-page are important factors for the SERPs position. HubPages, especially, is very tied to Google and definitely uses Google Analytics on its pages. Google knows a LOT of info and almost assuredly cares more about what I mentioned above, than where the traffic comes from.
Social media traffic does matter.
Well a fair amount of my traffic comes from facebook and pinterest. These were not links I posted, but links that other people had shared without my knowledge.
The way that conversation happened is that I was trying to give my Chinese predictions 2018 a leg up, so I emailed some people I knew and asked them if they would post it on their social networking sites. First time I have done that, but I thought it would be worth a try. Two people did out of the 50 people I emailed. So, it didn't work.
But this guy wrote back to me and said that Google does not take social networking sites into consideration so it wouldn't work.
Yep, you noticed an important factor. Google will note where traffic is coming from and take that into consideration. Especially if you/they are using Google Analytics. The more traffic, the more traffic.
Aha! So because it wasn't me posting them but other people, if they had, it would have had some impact, regardless of where the traffic is coming from?
How does google know that the traffic is coming from facebook or pinterest? Or is that a stupid question?
Not stupid at all. One or both sites may be using Google Analytics to monitor traffic. It's available to everyone. But the real winner is Google.
Although things change regularly with Google, there are certain things that have long been important.
A big factor these days is time spent on the site/page. In this case it doesn't matter where the traffic came from, including directly going to it via a bookmark.
For Google traffic is traffic (more or less). If the traffic seems real then Google will consider it valuable. Traffic that does not count, or counts very little would be you visiting your own site/page, or spiders, or someone who visits and then immediately leaves. Backlinks and traffic from "authority" sites are especially valuable though.
It's all about engaging the visitor and keeping them on the site for as long as possible.
A typical quality visitor will follow a link (from anywhere) to your page. Spend a few minutes reading and possibly interacting. Then move along, possibly to another related page or site. A pattern of this type of behavior from multiple visitors looks really good and Google will reward you for engaging your visitors well.
For example, Joe Shmoe writes about car repair. The visitor follows along on their tablet or phone, while they try to repair their car. They spend 25 minutes on the page. Maybe there's even "activity" on the page, due to comments piling up. Google is impressed. HubPages earns some money and shares it. Everyone is happy.
Tritrain mentions the reason but it's worth expanding.
If an author posts links on social networks then he/she is fishing for readers - who are likely to be other writers, or friends, who may visit the link out of kindness or curiosity or in hopes of reciprocity. Those readers aren't likely to spend long on the page, or leave a meaningful comment, so their visit won't have much value in Google's eyes. In fact if their visit is very brief, it may even be a negative!
On the other hand, if some stranger posts a link, then it's because they found the article of interest, and they have friends who are interested in that subject too. That link is therefore in an environment where it's attracting people who will spend some time on the page, or leave a comment, or share the article with other friends.
It does seem counter-intuitive, but the reason many bloggers and other web content writers do this is because of the way Google sees it. I suppose that, in a way, it is like the niche sites gaining more traffic. You can hate a link to someone else's work on the same subject by placing the link as further suggested reading or as a source citing. But Google tends to punish for things considered Sammy, which is why HP is so strict about spammy elements. So outbound links should be related to your website niche or to the page subject.
At least, that is how I was taught.
I think he's exaggerating slightly, but he does have a point.
It very much depends how you use the social networks. Most people just post the link on their Facebook or Pinterest page and think that counts for something - it doesn't.
If you are able to post a link on social networks in a way that gets readers, then that's a different story. But they need to be in significant numbers, and they need to be readers who are genuinely interested in your topic and therefore likely to like or share your article, or become a follower (if it's on a blog) or otherwise promote your existence.
It is achievable, especially if you have a specialist subject which enables you to have a specialist Facebook page or group, but it's hard work to achieve readership in large enough numbers to make a difference. You have to put as much effort into curating your social network pages as you do writing the stuff you're trying to promote.
Grouping together with other bloggers as described could be advantageous in that it offers you a chance to reach a wider audience - though, like you say, it can be difficult for us as authors to go asking bloggers to please consider linking to our work.
Personally speaking, I don't really invest the required time into promoting my works unless I can find something that I find my work would enhance since it detracts from my writing time.
With that said, I'm always thankful if anyone finds my work so helpful to them that they've shared it with others.
Social media links are very important. Like others have said, Google looks at these type of things. The more back-links the better. That being said, I wouldn't spam a site with the article over and over again as this can have a negative impact, but if you post the link on Facebook and people read it and repost then it's a win-win.
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