Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): What Does Google say about the importance of Social Signals in Google Ranking?

Many people wanted to know if it is worth it getting into social media marketing for their business or not, they wanted to know if  the social signals (social media links) from your Social Media campaign affecting your rankings on Bing and Google? Many people have been posing that question to Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand.com  Danny Sullivan wrote an article on Dec 2010 that Google and Bing uses Twitter and Facebook links as a ranking signal or criteria. [Source: What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count? ]

As you can see this has been confirmed by Matt Cutts of Google in the video below

In Danny Sullivan’s  article What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count? ; the following key points can be understood:

  • In general, he discovered that how popular you are on Twitter can have an influence on where you rank. It’s not a huge influence, but it’s there.
  • Are retweeted articles on Twitter considered a signal, outside of any non-nofollowed links that result from it?
    Bing: Your ratio of followers vs. the number of people you follow can have an effect on your ranking.
    Google: Yes, this is used as a signal in Google’s news and organic rankings.
  • Do you try to “know” who a specific Tweeter is?
    Bing: Yes. Famous people have more authority than the average person does.
    Google: Yes as well.
  • Do you calculate whether a link has more weight depending on the person who tweets it?
    Bing: Yes.
    Google: Yes
  • Do you track links shared within Facebook?
    Bing:  Yes. Bing looks at links marked as “Everyone,” and links shared from Facebook pages.
    Google: Treats shared links on Facebook the same way at Tweeted links.
  • Do you try to calculate authority of someone on Facebook, using his or her wall or fan page?
    Bing: No.
    Google:  Same policy as Twitter; Google doesn’t collect wall data.
  • Can a link have more weight depending upon the person who shared it on Facebook?
    Bing: Quality of a link on Facebook is determined by comparing it to its popularity on Twitter. If it can be found in both places, it’s probably legitimate.
    Google: Looks at the link separately, but with the same parameters as Twitter links.

So what does this mean? This article aims to highlight that Social Media Marketing is no longer something that you can ignore – even the search engines are seeing their importance now and indexing the social media links generated by Facebook and Twitter (this is said in the context of Danny’s article – it does not mean that other social media and social bookmarking are not important).

If you would like to find out more about social media marketing and would also like to know how we can listen in and spy on your competitors on social media, please contact us.