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As major social media platforms update their algorithms and features, the relationship between social media and search engine optimization becomes increasingly complex. Still, social media can greatly affect, and is extremely valuable for, a website’s search engine optimization. But how?
Over the last few months, top social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have undergone algorithm changes to alter the ranking of posts on their feeds. This is one correlation between social media and SEO: even though social media marketers don’t deal directly with search engines, they are fighting a similar battle to websites that wish to be placed higher on search engine results pages. Hence, marketers should find it useful to consider the process of maximizing their ranking through Facebook search engine optimization, Instagram search engine optimization, and Twitter search engine optimization. Here’s what has changed recently for each social network:
Facebook has always listened to its users, and constantly updates its News Feed algorithm to offer the best user experience. The traditional Facebook News Feed displays posts in reverse chronological order, with the most recent posts featured at the top. Between August 2013 and today, there have been a few changes to how the algorithm displays posts, from favoring high-quality content to prioritizing live videos.
These changes undoubtedly affect the organic reach on Facebook and, in order to adapt, marketers will now need to concentrate on how to increase Facebook engagement so that their posts can achieve higher rankings on their followers’ News Feeds. As with conventional search engine optimization, Facebook search engine optimization will focus heavily on content, too—live videos in particular will boost organic reach on Facebook, according to the latest algorithm update.
Following in its parent company’s footsteps, Instagram is also bidding farewell to reverse chronological feeds. The updated algorithm will personalize users’ feeds based on their past behaviors: for example when you like someone’s photos more often than other people’s, Instagram will regard this person’s posts as more important than others you follow and display them higher on your feed. Testing of this new algorithm started in March, and the official update will be rolled out over the coming months. Instagram marketers will need to focus on how to increase Instagram engagement to stay on top of the Instagram search engine optimization game.