How Linkedin Can Boost Your Site’s SEO
Can having a Linkedin profile help your website to rank better in Google’s SERPs? Yes! Both directly, and indirectly, I’m going to show you how a Linkedin profile can help boost your website’s SEO.
First, did you know that you can publish articles directly on linkedin? This turns LinkedIn into a blogging platform. These blog posts are incorporated directly into your bio. They are also shown on your bio, without the requirement of logging in. This means that Google can easily index your article into Google. Note that this isn’t available in all geographic areas, though the US seems to be covered.
From the blog aspect alone, you will see excellent direct benefits for your SEO. However, I can hear the collective grumble now, “Oh, the links on the blog are nofollow. Let me share a little something about nofollowed social profile links. Matt Cutts created a video back in 2010, stating that Google actively indexes Facebook and Twitter pages, and links from those accounts are counted. Furthermore, Google endeavored to see how popular a particular author is in order to give a heavier weight to their links.
Yes, I can confirm this, we do use Twitter and Facebook links in ranking, as we always have in our websearch rankings, but in addition we’re also trying to figure out a little bit about the reputation of an author or a creator on Twitter or Facebook. And let me just give you a little bit of a background on that. I filmed a video on that back in May, 2010, where I said that we didn’t use that as a signal, and at the time we did not use that as a signal, but now we’re taping this in December 2010, and we are using that as a signal. … In the same way that pagerank depends not on just the number of links, but the quality of those links, you have to think about what are the followers who mean quality, the people who actually are not just bots you know, or some software program, or things like that.
My point here about mentioning all these Facebook and Twitter details is at the time, both Facebook and Twitter were nofollow! Have you ever wanted to see an example of nofollow links giving excellent ranking benefits? Here we have confirmed, from Matt, an example of nofollow links passing link juice and influencing rankings! To the best of my knowledge, the last do-follow link you could get out of Twitter was in the bio field, and they nofollowed that back in 2008. Though I’m not exactly certain of Facebook’s entire history in regards to nofollow tag use, I found this 2009 article discussing that Facebooks link were, indeed, nofollow. Yet, knowing that both Facebook and Twitter tags were nofollow, Google discussed the value of links from these platforms, and attributed more weight to links from known and trusted authors. The arguments for valuing nofollow Facebook and Twitter links also applies to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides one of the rare opportunities where Google can reasonably ascertain an author’s real identity, make various associations about what topics the author is an expert in based on the groups the author is associated with, and take all these signals and apply them directly to blog posts by that author on the same platform. In a nutshell, LinkedIn is everything Google ever desired to achieve in terms of author rank.
What is Author Rank
In 2013, Google’s Eric Schmidt authored a book titled “The New Digital Age”. In it, he discussed the concept of author rank. Following is an excerpt from the book.
Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.
Here is the concept of the “verified online profiles”. Which service provides a higher standard of verified online profiles than LinkedIn? I’ve always considered LinkedIn the more serious, business-class social network. It is far more classified, in terms of “who works where and what are they qualified in?” than any other social network. LinkedIn is a treasure-trove of author rank sources for Google. Eric Schmidt isn’t the only one at Google talking about author rank. Here is a video from Matt Cutts discussing author rank.
We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users.
Again, it’s hard to imagine how Google could fulfill this better than with LinkedIn data. LinkedIn shows where someone has worked, what groups involved with and relations that they have with others in the industry. One specific instance that Matt gave from above is “medical”. What better way to discover that an author is in the medical niche, than working for a hospital or belonging to patient care groups on LinkedIn? This is the one social network that contains all of this juicy author rank information that Google says it wants to attribute to authors.
What should you do with what you learned in this article? Establish a LinkedIn profile for your niche website, and develop that identity to show Google that you’re an expert in that niche. Show all your employers who are related to that niche. Join groups related to the niche, so Google can further make verifications and niche-based associations. Then, create blog posts on LinkedIn, linking to your website and further establishing, and transferring the author rank signals that you have developed on LinkedIn to your niche website. Lastly, outreach others in your niche on LinkedIn. As you develop your realm of influence there, Google will see common links between you and your associates, further establishing your position as a leader in that niche.