In 2018, Econsultancy published a series of survey and study results that showed that most businesses and agencies are using social media as part of their SEO strategy. In fact, social media marketing ranked third after content marketing and paid research marketing. It was ranked higher than mobile marketing, email marketing, and digital display marketing.

But a few months after, Google’s Matt Cutts released a video wherein he said that social media signals such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers are not indicative of a profile’s authority and influence. In short, Google is not accepting these metrics and they do not affect the pages’ rankings on the search engine. That threw marketers for a loop since they were operating under the assumption that their presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is boosting their search engine rankings.

And yet, if you think about it, there are obvious signs that social media standings affect SEO and maybe business owners should not refocus outside social media just yet.

Social links can boost your search rank

Does Google consider links published on social accounts to be credible backlinks? Backlinks are one of the most important metrics of Google’s algorithm so it helps if your business’ profile can regularly post website links that are legitimate authorities of the topics being discussed. Marketing consultant Brian Honigman believes that links to your website via social media accounts have a major impact on your rankings. Shared links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ help search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword and phrases.

Social media profiles rank high in search engines

When you search for a company name on Google, what immediately pops up on the first page of the results? The social media profiles, right? A quick search of, for example, Clinique will not only show the link for the official website of the company but its social media profiles, too. In fact, a business’ social media profiles are the top search engine results. In many cases, when a small business is just starting out, Google will top its social media profiles better than its actual website. This goes to show that your social media profiles matter to Google.

Social media are search engines, too

Google is not the sole search engine these days. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Pinterest, and Google+ are also being used to find information about stuff. In fact, many starts with searching on social media’s search option before they move on to using Google or Bing. If someone wants to check out a business, they trust social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to bring the information they need.