Social media are part of our day-to-day activities, where we use Facebook , Twitter, Google Plus for sharing and commenting great content posts. Most content marketers and bloggers drive huge visitors to their blogs through those social platforms.
If you are starting with new blog, your sole traffic would be probably from social media, and if you are an established blogger or internet marketer, you use those social media for traffic and engagements apart from organic traffic.
Social signals are the likes, shares, votes, pins, or views people place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites that filter out to the various search engines.
Most believe (including me), social signals are important and needed for ranking and Link building to improve your blog in SERPs (Search Engine Rank Pages). There has been a Huge debate ever since social media made it big, whether Google use social signals as a sign of SEO success or not.
So what do you say, “Does Social Signals matters for SEO in 2015” ?
There are lots of myths and confusions regarding this topic, and I finally decided to have through Research on this, and let’s see where it ends up. This research is based upon 3 Major Social platforms : Twitter , Facebook and Google+.
Twitter Social Signals :
Way back in 2010, Google did used social signals as a part of SEO. There was an Google-Twitter deal, where twitter had provided its access to data streams to google.
With its access to Twitter’s data feed, Google not only gained direct access to the tweets themselves, but could also benefit from all sorts of metrics they can likely collect from the volume of tweets and users’ interactions with them. For ranking, It looks for your links which got re-tweets and Favorites. Also they do calculated author quality, as social signal. Presumably, Google use these metrics to determine how (and what) tweets will show in search.
Late after 2011, this deal got broke, and no longer could google use this social signal as SEO parameter. Currently Google has 200+ factors for ranking a page in SERPs.
Still not convinced?
You can say, “Well those pages having Huge twitter influence are ranking on 1st page of Google ”. Yes indeed, its not because of social signals, rather than great quality content which lead to huge twitter influence. Google looks for great quality content for ranking, and those twitter influence are just byproduct.
So Twitter signals are not used for rankings in 2015. But you can use them for content marketing, building loyal audience or rather just more eyeballs for your great content.
“But do twitter helps in link building by sharing links.?” Earlier, retweets served as a new form a link building. Get your page mentioned in tweets by authoritative people, and that can help your ranking in regular search results, to a degree. Now, Google indexes each and every links in twitter. So if your content are not indexed, Google can automatically index your links via twitter link tweets or re-tweets. All links are no-follow, so it doesn’t helps in Link Building.
Why do Google not looking for twitter social signal as ranking parameter in 2015?
Social signal likes tweets, shares, favorites are volatile to say. They can change anytime. For example, Sam did favorite one tweet of his interest, and next time he can un-favorite it, due to lack of interest. Google can hardly predict the changes due to variable situations.
Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s Web Spam Team), does hint at a future where social signals may have a more defined impact in search ranking. – Check below for video
Facebook Social Signals :
Back in 2010, as twitter, Google did used Facebook social signals as ranking factor. By “signals,” I mean basically counting popularity of social content as a ranking factor on Google . In Facebook, Google looks at how many shares, likes did you got to your links. Every likes, shares , fans followers, links authority are calculated or counted for ranking on search engine.
Well its 2015 , Google just indexes links of Facebook as twitter. But do you know Facebook has a internal search engine – Graph Search. Graph search is a semantic search technology that responds to complex user queries and parses natural language rather than just looking for keyword matches. It also brings in data from Bing when Facebook’s own content is too thin to return rich results on a given query. Graph Search is so powerful that no other search engine can compete.
Although, facebook is not considered as Social signal, but it can drive huge traffic and build links to your blog. Facebook doesn’t promote direct Link Building, as google bots are blocked at most places, or sometimes the fetched links are “no-follow”even. Most important is creating shareable content and engagement with audience. So others can visit your content and link to you (Indirect Link Building).
Note: Graph Search and Bing Engine does consider facebook social signals
Just to have better online presence, following quick points will be good to consider:
1) Customize your Facebook URL.
2) Have your page name be your brand or company name and nothing else.
3) Fill out all possible information, and use some keywords from your Google SEO playbook.
4) Connect your page to all your other online web presence.
5) Use Graph Search to research customers and competitors.
Google Plus social signals :
As you will go through the Matt Cutts 2015 video on social signals below, it will be clear that Facebook and Twitter wont be considered as social signals for ranking.
But did he mentioned anything about Google+ social signals ?
Not yet, it assumed to have some power using Google+. Since Google has complete access to Google+ and all its content, engineering the algorithm to include public Google+ updates would never be a risky investment.
It’s entirely possible that Google is or will eventually be using +1s on their platform as a valid social signal.
Google Authorship, which was introduced during 2013, has been a phenomenal change to improve search rankings. Authorship was created with the goal of allowing writers to claim their content, as well as allowing search engine users to find more content written by the same writer. It uses to verify authors and implements Author rank, which is the future of Google’s algorithm.
So, Google+ has its place in search engine ranking. Just a tip, just make sure Google+ is a central part of your social strategy moving forward. Don’t be too aggressive in grabbing huge +1s for each link posts. Let it be natural.
As far for link building, all links shared in google+ are “no-follow”, so it wont add up to as backlinks.
Social Signals Importance in 2012 – Matt Cutts (Google Webmasters) :
Social Signals Importance in 2015 – Matt Cutts (Google Webmasters) :
Now, you are well cleared after reading this post and also those Matt videos of 2012 & 2015, what Social signals are present in 2015. Just to re-collect what we learned today :
1) No Social platforms helps in Link Building
2) Facebook and twitter are not considered as social signals in SEO 2015
3) Google+ has its existence for social signals in SEO 2015.
So implement your strategies in right way, and do let me know your views through comments regarding Social Signal in SEO presence in Search engine ranking and Link Building perspective.
Below are few references, you can use to have Promising contexts to your misconceptions.