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SEO And The Value Of Social Comments, Shares, Likes

Google+'s influence on search engine optimization across its engine and network of sites and partners will continue to impact content rankings. A content discovery engine Thursday will announce an application program interface integration with the social platform, making it one of a select number to support Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

San Diego-based SOCi focuses on understanding consumer engagement across social media to help brands better understand the connection with a variety of media. "We have a lot of partners realizing the importance of social media to SEO," admits Afif Khoury, CEO at SOCi, a three-year-old startup.

Analyzing the content helps SOCi determine the value of a comment, like, share and impression. About 85 factors in the scoring algorithm support the process. Khoury, along with CMO Tony Rindsberg, would not disclose the "secret sauce," but admits that the comment is worth more than a share because with comment the person shares and engages. A comment is worth much more than four times the value of a like. Some of the attributes analyzed are the number of people it reached, the leads driven and clicks to the brand's Web site.

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Understanding content has become critical to improve optimization. When SOCi analyzed and scored posts on the social Web for an unidentified company, they were writing about dust mites trying to educate their audience on why they should buy hypoallergenic mattresses. The scores were low -- between zero and one, according to SOCi's scoring engine. So the company went to the social Web and pulled all the posts on mattresses and ran them through algorithms. The posts that rose to the top in the rankings were those about pregnant women and mattresses, should they sleep on their side or back, and coil vs. tempurpedic. Those posts were generating tons of comments, shares and likes.

Most of SOCi's analytics occurs on Facebook. With an API for Google+, Rindsberg hopes to do the same type of analysis. The worth of a comment vs. like and share will shift depending on the dynamics and page. None stays the same from one business to another, he said. Formulas help compare the relationships and improve search engine optimization. 

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