Bernard Huang

The Effect of Social Media on SEO

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Bernard Huang is a well-known entrepreneur who is also the co-founder of Mushi Labs, founded in 2015. Added to that, he is the co-founder of Clearscope in 2016. He also was on the 500 Startups distro team. They helped 500 Startups’ portfolio companies. Previously, he was the co-founder of ‘Food-By-People’ in 2013, as well as other companies. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Bernard Huang was a guest of ours who gave a lecture in one of Turkey’s Universities related to our program Etohum KAmpi in 2015. The lecture he gave was about Growth Hacking in general, how to increase traffic on your website, and what to do if you are ever spotted getting backlinks and using them.

During this informative session regarding -as we mentioned above- Growth Hacking, Mr.Huang spoke about how being caught buying backlinks in a sketchy way could lead to your site and even you being absolutely demolished by Google, that something new in the industry has appeared called SEO. It basically means that you take these backlinks that you are purchasing, and use them to attack your competitors. 

This is something that is happening more frequently than it used to do before, and you as a startup should be fully aware that your competitors are able to attack you in this way and cause you real damage by attacking your website which could cause trouble for your organic growth, and as a reverse side, being a startup, you could also use this method to attack your competitors, which is basically what Black Hat is.

Another thing that Mr. Huang has done some tests on was the effect of social signals on SEO. He has done numerous social media experimentations for the baking website that he was working on. The Facebook page of the baking website attained 24 thousand likes very quickly, and each time something is posted on the page, they would get a huge amount of interaction for the piece of content that they posted. 

With social media marketing, Mr. Huang was able to build up an audience of about 20 thousand, of which around 8 thousand are fake since he bought the Facebook likes since he did not want to start with an empty Facebook page that no one would follow, that is why he seeded it with a considerable number of likes while trying to experiment a social media tactic.

This tactic was rather based on virality; if you want to tackle this side, then there is a tool called ‘The BuzzSumo’, it analyses what content performs best for any topic or competitor. For instance, Mr. Huang searched for the keywords that he was targeting like ‘baking’, when he did that, he was able to get the most shared articles on Facebook that are related to this keyword and belong to the same topic.

The experiment was to take an article from Buzzfeed that was an exact copy of the topic they produced,  modified it and added some things, and then promoted it on the Facebook page he created because people already want to share it. Since this article was already viral, then it should perform well too if posted on another page. This is more of a social media tactic than an SEO tactic since Google will not consider it because it is an exact copy of another content, and it will not show on search engines. 

─ July 10, 2019