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Not All Sharing is Created Equally

We've recently written a few Daily Golden Nuggets about social sharing, "Like" buttons and generally how to increase the traffic to your website through social sharing. But now we realize that some of the directions we gave you might be misunderstood, so let's clear them up.

Sharing a link to your website on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, LinkedIn or any other social network will increase the number of visitors on your site. Not because the search engines found the shared link and use it for ranking, but simply because other random people saw and clicked on the link.

That's easy. Share a link = increase traffic from people clicking that shared link.

On the other hand, if you only want to spend time sharing links that help your search engine ranking then you have to be very specific with your sharing.

Any Tweets to Twitter are fed directly to Google without the nofollow link attribute. From Twitter, Google is able to discover pages of your site and each Tweet helps a tiny bit for your ranking.

There are two types of Facebook shares that you need to worry about: personal wall shares and business page shares.

Bing and Facebook have an agreement that gives Bing access to all the web page links shared to your personal wall and to your business page. We believe this is a direct feed much like the direct feed Twitter gives Google.

Bing uses the shared links to influence recommendation results on their SERP. It's also assumed the shared links help with web page discovery.

Google and Facebook do not play well together. That is to say, they do not have an agreement like Bing and Facebook do.

However, Google does have access to anything made public on Facebook. Your personal privacy settings come into play here; if you block your page from the general public, Google will also be blocked because Google can only index public pages. On the other hand, all Business Pages must always be public, so Google is fully able to read those.

Now that we've covered what's public and what's not, let's get back to sharing links. If you post a link on your personal Facebook Wall, most likely Google will not see it. Since they can't see it, they won't be able to crawl; since they can't crawl the link, the page won't get indexed; and the share does not help your ranking at all.

However, sharing a link to your Business Wall is seen by Google. That means they can crawl it; which means they can index it; which means it will help influence recommendations results on their SERP.

The bottom line is that for shared links on Facebook to really matter, you need to post them to your jewelry store's business page wall, and not your personal wall. Every time you click a Facebook Like button or a Share button, you are sharing that page with your personal friends. For shared links to count you need to copy the URL from your web browser and paste it directly into your business page and click the Attach button.

Do the shares to help with normal organic ranking? We don't know. All the big SEO research firms argue over that question and one has been proven right yet. What we see for sure ourselves is that the shared links do trigger "recommendations" on the SERPs, and sometime those recommendations usurp the regular organic rankings.
AT: 06/16/2011 11:51:55 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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