Chivalry may be officially dead (Women being equal or even superior to men and all that).
But the old-world quality of being polite is still important. Particularly in the context of social media usage and its importance in search rankings.
Just in case some of you are not aware, social signals are now being considered by Google for ranking the search results.
Here is Google’s Matt Cutts confirming the same.
Before you rush out there, all determined to leverage social media for its maximum SEO benefit, take a deep breath.
Determination is fine, even good, but make sure you are not overdoing things in your enthusiasm (read spamming social media for links, random commenting, etc).
The original purpose of social media was to help people connect and build relationships.
That has not changed. And SEO experts recommend that being polite on social media can help your SEO in more ways than you could have ever imagined.
And here are three reasons why this is so:
1) One Good Turn Breeds Another
You want people to like and tweet your posts because these are positive SEO signals as confirmed by this SearchMetrics experiment, which ranks Facebook shares as the top Google ranking factor.
People will share your posts only if you are doing the same with their posts. Because you see one good turn breeds another.
2) Read and Show Interest
Read what others are saying (on social media) and contribute intelligently. Share your concerns on the issue or how you have a post that looks at the topic from another perspective (and of course, share the relevant link).
This is a good strategy while trying to connect with influencers in your niche as it makes them more receptive towards you. Chances are high they may give you a valuable back link or tweet your URL.
And Google says that the authority of the Tweeter is an important ranking factor.
This SEOMoz case study reveals the SEO benefits of getting Tweeted by a power Twitter user.
3) Please is a Powerful Word
We learned it as kids and teach our kids too. Then why forget it when requesting social media shares.
In an interesting experiment, Dan Zarella found that including the phrase “Please Retweet” generated 4 times more retweets than when the phrase was not used.
In fact, “Please Retweet” was found to be even more effective than “Please RT”. You can read the details here.
It is often said that the “meek shall inherit the earth”.
Though I can’t comment on that, I can say that “the polite will definitely inherit the online version of the earth- the all-pervasive internet by ranking high on the search engine results page (SERP)”.