You may (or may not) know that Google uses inbound links to your site to gauge it’s popularity and relevance. The most popular and relevant content shows up on page one of Google search results, while less popular content is pushed down in the ranks. The other day I was to pondering the possible effect on Google Search rankings of inbound links from social media profiles and I inadvertently set up an experiment when I set up social media profiles for my site and experienced some impressive results.
In February 2014, I set up a simple site as a means of gauging interest in a product I was strongly considering building. The site consisted of a custom URL containing keywords I was targeting, a home page, a download now page, and a contact form. Since it took me until November 2015 to install WordPress on my Web host, it was a very basic site as I was coding all the HTML & PHP by hand. Between February 2014 and December 2015, the site remained somewhat stagnant, but I was routinely listed on pages 3 to 5 of Google search results (#21 – #60) for the keywords I was targeting. I also gathered ~200 emails addresses during that time frame through the contact form for future promotion.
Setting Up the Experiment
As of 12/29/2015, I ranked #24 (Page 3) in Google search results for the keywords I was targeting.
On 12/29/2015, I set up social media profiles on the following 5 sites with links to my the main site in each of the profiles:
In addition to putting links to my main site within each of the social media profiles I also included as many links between the social media profiles as I could. Each of the 5 social media sites is linked to the other 4 social media sites and my product site and my product site is linked to each of the 5 social media sites. I theorized that the 30 interconnecting links between the social media profiles and my product site would boost its apparent popularity and relevance resulting in a better ranking within Google search results.
The Experiment Results
On 1/4/2016 I revisited the Google search results and I was shocked by my findings. The product site went from being ranked #24 on page 3 to being ranked #6 on page 1 of Google for same key words! It would appear that interconnecting links between the social media profiles and a product site boosts Google search ranking.
However, in the interest of full disclosure I should note that I added 8 additional pages to the product site on 1/2/2016. This may have aided in the increased ranking of the site and I somewhat regret their addition due to the possible impact on this experiment’s relevance.
It will be interesting to see what the impact of my product site’s new ranking will have on my traffic and email address list.
Your Next Steps
First, don’t hesitate to sign up for web hosting and reserve your domain name (i.e. MikeStrejcek.com). I’m currently using 1&1 Web Hosting and am very happy with it, but I’m strongly considering switching to Bluehost Web Hosting. At the time of this post, shared hosting from both providers is $7 – $8 per month for the basic package, $10 – $11 per month for the intermediate package, and I’ve seen specials as low as $0.99 / month for the first year. The shared hosting service from both providers even includes the registration of your first domain name.
Second, don’t wait 2 years (like I did) to install WordPress through the Web Host’s Control Panel. WordPress is free, installs in a few button clicks, and offers many powerful plugins (most are also free). Let WordPress handle the technical details while you focus on the content and its promotion.