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.