The relationship between social media shares and organic rankings

The relationship between social media shares and organic rankings

Trying to learn how social media shares or signals have influenced organic search rankings is difficult. We think the relationship has changed over the years, and of course will continue to change. Learn how the two relate to each other and influence rankings.

Social shares and rankings

While tying down a direct connection between shares and rankings is hard, there is definitely a connection. Stories that rank well tend to be high on the social share scale.

Some SEO’s believe that Google takes the number of shares into account in the algorithm. But there are also indications that it doesn’t use this information at all.  Google has even said that they don’t use any social share counts from Facebook or Twitter as direct ranking factors.


Shares equal engagement. If your post is shared a dozen times, it’s not just the number of shares that needs to be taken into account. You need to factor in if readers are engaging with your social media pages and profiles. They’re also marketing your content for you, by sharing it to all their followers. You can download post engagement data from Facebook, to track what level of engagement your posts are garnering.


It’s important to consider that the best content and posts on social that are organic, also do well as paid posts on Facebook. So take your best content and use it for both. Turn your organic posts into content that can be used for paid social, and vise versa. If your paid content is ranking well, with lots of engagement, chances are it will rank well organically too.

Take Away

It was thought that high shares were related to high rankings. Now it’s believed that high engagement encourages high rankings. Click through rate does matter, so keep that in mind. Most algorithm systems reward high engagement in posts, with more visibility for that post. This is the key relation between SEO and social metrics.

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