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How Positive or Negative Online Emotions Affects Your Rankings

Date published: June 01, 2019
Last updated: June 1, 2019

The internet is an emotional world. Wonder why?

Look at top trending stories. Facebook newsfeed. Twitter timeline. Instagram pictures. The whole internet is a treasure trove someone’s emotion. Take any page and you will see how diverse it is in the form of emotions.

[bctt tweet="Joy. Sadness. Support. Hatred. Approval. Disappointment. You can find all hues of human emotions like a colorful palette on the internet." username="relevance"]

But, hey how does it relate to search engine ranking. What do positive and negative emotions go to do with rankings?

Turns out, everything. The adage that any publicity is good publicity does not stand true anymore. If you have negative publicity, it is going to affect your brand’s search rankings.

Positive coverage like a press release, fan blogs, positive reviews, etc. are going to shed a positive influence on your search rankings.

Believe it or not, Google already has a patent for it. It is called sentiment analysis and is used to determine whether a review that you have written is a happy one an unhappy one. When combined with Google’s growing processing power and massive datasets, it is only a matter of time before everything that is written on the internet will be rated as positive or negative by Google.

Emotions and their effect on local SEO

For any business, local SEO plays a major role in bringing in business. If you have your local SEO signals consisting of NAP (Name, address and phone number) correct, customers in your locality will be able to find you easily.

[bctt tweet="Local SEO is what enables your business to collect online customer reviews as well. And therein comes the importance of positive and negative emotions." username="relevance"]

When customers leave reviews on your Google profile or any other review submission website, Google tracks it down like any other SEO-optimized page. The fact that these reviews are user-generated and are enriched with signals like authenticity and passion makes it even more reliable for Google.

Google uses what is known as ‘stylometry’ - statistical analysis of variations in literary style between one writer or genre and another to evaluate the emotional quotient of a review.

And, it is not just Google reviews that are in focus. Even websites like Yelp and other local directories are used for local SEO ranking.

Monitoring customer emotions

I agree that sounds a bit privacy-intruding. But, there is a purpose for this question. Are you listening to the reviews and content that your customers write about your business offerings? Do you have a process of monitoring brand mentions or reviews that your business gets?

In SEO, there is a concept which deals with this. According to the concept, keywords can be classified into branded keywords and non-branded keywords.

Branded keywords - keywords that have your business/product name as prefix or suffix. They have limited search volume but have high search intent and convert better.

Non-branded - Generic keywords related to your product/service with a huge volume and hence difficult to rank for. Brings in loads of traffic but conversion rates fluctuate drastically.

So, all the content that is published with branded keywords is picked by Google for sentiment analysis. Depending on the positive or negative emotion, the ranking is offered.

The challenge here is, ranking for negative content means you are literally losing business to customers.

[bctt tweet="Creating a positive relationship seems a legit way of winning Google’s favor than creating negative link bait." username="relevance"]

In other words, bad publicity is not going to good publicity, not any longer. Always focus on building positive coverage that will put you on the good books of Google.

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