search engine rankings

Are Social Media Profiles Hurting Your Site’s Search Results?

search engine rankings

How many social media profiles do you have? How do they rank in the search engines compared to your own website or blog? With the growth of Google Plus, lately I’ve noticed several people claiming that their G+ profiles outrank their own sites which ranked well for years. It wouldn’t make sense. Your brand new profile isn’t likely more relevant than a personal or business website that’s been around for a long time.

In the case of G+ profiles the issue largely seemed to happen when they were logged in. In other words, it was a part of Google’s attempt to customize search results for you on a more individual basis. But that’s not to say your general site rankings aren’t at risk, from anything from your Twitter feed to your Facebook page.

Why Does it Matter if Your Profiles Outrank Your Website?

You might assume it doesn’t matter which ranks higher. After all, they’re all tied to you and your larger business or personal brand anyway. And there is indeed a chance that it won’t matter for some people. But it can matter a lot to others. Here’s why:

  • In many cases social media profiles are meant to be supplements to an existing brand image — not primary public outlets.
  • If you’re trying to sell something, you want your business website or sales page ranking as highly as possible to drive targeted search traffic to product or order pages.
  • If you make money via ad revenue you want to maximize search traffic to your own site rather than social media profiles. Having that site outranked can negatively impact that traffic source and therefore your ad revenue.

If one of these things applies to you, let’s talk about what you might do to fix the situation.

How to Maintain Your Website Rankings

Assuming you want to keep your website’s top rankings (or earn them back) when compared to your social media profiles, here are a few things you can try:

seo process
Don’t neglect the rest of the SEO process just because you use social media. – Credit:
  • Don’t neglect your site’s search engine optimization. It’s easy to get caught up in spending too much time on social media sites. But if all of your time goes to them, it’s no wonder they might outrank your home base. Keep a focus on keyword research, on-site optimization, content creation, and link building.
  • Use your social profiles to build links and drive traffic to your primary website. Social media marketing can be an effective way to increase your site’s rankings and by directing friends and followers to the same central hub, you make it clear which site the emphasis should be on. If nothing else you’ll drive more traffic — more people who might spread the word by linking to your website.
  • Keep creating linkable content. Don’t leave all of your best insights to social media posts. While it’s important to share interesting things on those profiles, it’s equally important to do so on your own site if you want to maintain interest and rankings. Give people a reason to come back. And give them a reason to link to you. Continual link building is one of the best things you can do to maintain or earn back your site’s rankings.

If you see one or more of your social media profiles dominating search results, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Those profiles can be pathways to your main site. But sometimes it makes more sense to keep your primary site higher in the rankings. And to start doing that you need to know where each site currently stands.

Run a search or two right now. How do your websites compare to your social media accounts? Does it matter which ranks higher? Why or why not? If you’re worried about social profiles outranking your own site, what do you plan to do about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Written by
Jennifer Mattern
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  • Good piece. Everyone seems to run to the shiny new toy – Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, etc. – and quickly forget about their own website. We see businesses posting press releases in social media sites, but totally ignoring posting the release on their own website’s News page or even in their blog. Of course, all of this to impress their 62 Facebook “Likes” and under 1,000 Twitter followers (most of which are porn bots).

  • I actually never thought about this. After googling myself I found that Google+ is the 7th result after LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter and my very old blog while I don’t even use Google+, just have a profile created in it – sort of a bummer to have it ranked so high.

    When I check my name in my own language (hebrew) all the results are from my new blog and no social media links on any page – The advantage of having social media using my name in english and blogging in a different language 🙂

  • I don’t anticipate this should be a problem for many people unless their main keyword phrase their blog was ranking on was their name. I wouldn’t anticipate that their profiles are ranking on much more than their names unless they are specifically optimizing them to rank on something. My blog ranks number 1 if you search my name and it has for years. My domain is also, so I don’t anticipate any of my social media profiles replacing my blog, but if any of them did, it wouldn’t be a big deal since people searching for my name obviously already know me (or someone with the same name) and are looking for specific information about me. So getting some of my SM profiles would be relevant.