Search engines are getting smarter. More than that, they are getting social. A key indicator for how well a web page is ranked in Google or Bing is how many times people have “liked,” “tweeted,” or “+1′d” a given page. Google and Bing both admitted to using social indicators back in 2010 to improve the accuracy of search results, and as you can probably imagine, they’ve been tweaking and improving these algorithms ever since. Google introduced the +1 button last year and even included it in Google search results. This is why it’s important to include these “like” buttons on your homepage and other pages that you want to rank well in search results.
(For the purpose of this article I’ll use the word “like” to include any social media button that can be used to rate a page. The most important of which are Facebook’s “Like,” Twitter’s “Tweet,” and Google’s “+1.” In some cases likes are similar to share buttons, but the user’s intent is different. Share buttons don’t usually display a numerical tally of clicks.)
Search Engines Love “Likes”
Search engines view the number of likes your web page gets as an indicator of your website’s popularity and usefulness. And since it’s a search engine’s job to produce the most relevant and useful links, getting likes can improve your visibility in search results. Of course, it’s not the only indicator. Links from other sites, domain age, visitor traffic, bounce rates, and many other factors are considerations as well. But adding like buttons is definitely a step in the right direction.
The more your like buttons are clicked, the more Google and Bing trust your website, and the better your site will rank in search results. And it’s not just search engines that like these indicators. Website visitors use these indicators as a sign of trust. If your web page has over 200 likes, then most visitors will assume there is some value to the content on your page. Users will be more likely to spend more time on your site reading your articles, viewing your pictures, watching your videos and listening to your audio tracks. Now you just have to make sure that there is some good content on your site for them to “like.”
How to Add like Buttons
Once you’ve installed your buttons, don’t forget to encourage your fans to click your like buttons!
And don’t forget to LIKE this article by clicking the buttons below!!
What’s your experience with like buttons? Let us know in the comments below!