Is Social Media the Next Step in SEO?

Posted by: Alex Cortez on January 27th, 2011

Social Media has become one of the most effective tools in a real estate agent’s repertoire in engaging their target audience. And now, according to search engine guru, Danny Sullivan, data shared through Twitter and Facebook has a direct effect on a search engine results page placement (SERP). Although it had long been suspected in the SEO community, this announcement further confirms the weight being placed on social media interaction.

Long held to be of utmost importance in search engine algorithms, Google’s PageRank has been a benchmark of trust by which a website/domain can be easily measured. How does this translate into Social Media? ‘SocialRank’ (Danny’s term, not confirmed lingo used by the SE’s) could very well be the next level of social measurement, which takes an individual and calculates THEIR level of authority on various networks (independent of the PageRank of the page to which he/she is associated). Factors taken into account in calculating ‘SocialRank’ could include number followed/followers, number of friends, number of ‘Likes’, etc.

There are a few assumptions and parallels that we can conclude will influence how search engines view social media interaction. For example, obtaining high-authority friends/followers would be similar to obtain follow links from high PR sites, potentially increasing one’s ‘SocialRank’ and, therefore, the authority passed on to links tweeted/shared. In addition, being retweeted/liked by a large number would be akin to having links from a variety of domains; so it would be safe to assume that 100 RT’s from 100 unique accounts would be preferable to 100 RT’s from the same account. Furthermore, relevancy could be a key element in gauging how much ‘juice’ is passed on to a link. A retweet of a real estate article by a known real estate author would be more valuable than a retweet from a hair stylist, provided that other factors such as ‘SocialRank’ are the comparable.

Clearly, Social Media is here to stay and has become an excellent method by which real estate agents are able to share with their (potential) clients. But that such interaction has implications for SEO and, subsequently, SERP’s placement, can be a phenomenal equalizer for individual agents to compete with the ‘top dogs’ who are simply not able to engage their followers/friends at a personal level. SEO is evolving quickly and those who are able to adapt accordingly will reap the rewards, particularly in the highly competitive real estate field.



11 Comments on “Is Social Media the Next Step in SEO?”

ILYA at The HOME Team, Charles Rutenberg Realty

I agree, using Social Media and SEO is becoming a loved or hated issue for many agents. It’s a lot to learn and definitely helps paying attention and using at least one of two SM engines.
That said, I just heard that Google is paying big attention to videos, so it’s definitely good for agents to use video and put it on their site.


Whoa, I had no idea about this social rank. When did they start counting FB/Twitter relevancy? Great information, thanks for sharing.

Robert Worthington

Alex, social media is here to stay. Intersting concept of social media playing into seo.

Louis Cammarosano

Social media may eventually replace SEO.

“social media is here to stay” Until something else comes along to capture our limited attention spans..

Alex-good post!

Alex Cortez

Aloha all,

Thanks for weighing in, Louis. I’ve been a long-time fan of your work, so I’m glad to hear you liked this post.

Robert, the SEO community has been buzzing in regards to the Danny Sullivan interview. Although it had been suspected for a while, the fact that Google and Bing both confirmed makes this a ‘must do’ in your SEO efforts.

Paia, the fact that G and Bing both use SM factors in their algorithms was recently confirmed. As far as how long they have been using said factors, I don’t know that they divulged it.

Mark Madsen

Good post, Alex.

I still believe that “information/education” will win in the SERPs over fans or re-tweets.

“can be a phenomenal equalizer for individual agents to compete with the ‘top dogs’ who are simply not able to engage their followers/friends at a personal level.”

Excellent point. But, I can’t imagine that a busy full-time agent or mortgage professional will ever have the time to fully engage hundreds or thousands of social media followers.

Maybe we’ll start to see a more prominent role of the in-house social media / community manager at brokerages as things progress with the web. Something similar to how a Title Rep works on relationships while escrow officers handle the business of closing transactions.

One thing is for sure, as Eric Blackwell taught me, SEO is a team sport.

SEO services

may be that would be next step
thanks!!! for sharing

Portia Dove

Thanks great article. Well it looks like I will have to give in and get with SERP’s.


Great information. It’s time to step up my social media game and battle it out for the SERPs.

Branden Harvey

This is good news for me! I’ve gained quite a Twitter following in the last few weeks. Facebook too!


Social Media is most definitely a critical portion of SEO; thus, consulting professional to effectively brand for you on social networking sites is critical.

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