Do Social Signals Really Affect Search Rankings?

Social Signals

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Do Social Signals Really Affect Search Rankings?

Social Signals

So much has been said whether social signals can really affect search rankings or not. A lot of SEO experts insist that social signals can influence search rankings and should be treated as an important component in optimizing content for search engines. Remarkably, Google Search denied this claim but specifically mentioned that they only use social signals from Google+ (their social media website) for personalized search (not the public one).

What Some SEO Experts are saying? (PRO)

Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, asserted that both Google and Bing use social signals (http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/31/how-social-signals-impact-search-engine-rankings) to determine a website’s ranking. He enumerated that these search engines account the total number of tweets and retweets a URL has, take into consideration the authority of the person tweeting the URL, the total number of Facebook shares and likes a URL has, and the total number of +1s a URL has. Neil backed up his claim with statistics from a few case studies (http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/31/how-social-signals-impact-search-engine-rankings).

Social Media is the new link building (https://www.convertwithcontent.com/social-signals-seo-101-new-seo-authority). This is according to Jason Clegg, CEO of Convert with Content. Jason explained this in the context that social media helps businesses build authority over time. His emphasized his stand below.

“Remember: Google’s long-term goal is to find the best way to measure authority of websites. So it’s logical that Google would need to begin incorporating social signals into its algorithms.”

What Other SEO Experts are saying? (CON)

While there are industry leaders who firmly believe that social signals are significant factors in search rankings, there are also many who expressed the opposite. Jon Ball, VP of Business Development for Page One Power, said that there are three major pitfalls (http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2337029/3-Pitfalls-of-Using-Social-as-a-Ranking-Signal-Why-Links-STILL-Matter?inf_contact_key=7308b8948100c984e9fc35cce54aef00bf3b1d87a1336dfbfb069ef202ac9873) in using social signals as part of a search ranking algorithm. First, they are easy to manipulate. Second, Google has no full access to other social media platforms, and third, Google+ lacks universal adoption. Jon also stressed that social signals such as likes, shares, and tweets don’t need much effort to do while links signify more commitments and serious kind of relationship.

Furthermore, Eric Enge from Search engine journal (http://searchengineland.com/what-everybody-missed-about-hummingbird1-176031), declared that social signals are not yet used by big search engines as a ranking factor but it will be in the near future.

What Google is saying?

Eric Enge’s stand regarding the possibility that social signals will be used in search ranking in the near future is based from Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, declaration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=udqtSM-6QbQ) that Facebook and Twitter Social Signals are not part of their search ranking algorithm but expressed the possibility of including them in the future. Matt clarified that the speculation regarding the inclusion of social signals in their search algorithm in the recent years is a mere misinformation and not true.

Regardless of all the speculations and Google’s remarkable denial, social signals are still important. Why wait for Google to announce that they included it when you can start building your brand authority (through social media) and create an advantage from those who are always depending on them? As a business owner, it is always recommended to stay a step ahead from your competitors and keep your brand running without the need to be one of Google’s sheeps.

 

Qamar Zaman

Chief Visionary at Oxygen Marketing Group managing: Submit Press Release 123 One SEO Company Qamar Zaman founded Submit Press Release 123. Qamar has been written about in the Cayman Newspaper as leading SEO person of the year. He is a member of W3C and DFWSEM. He enjoys Starbuck Coffee and in his free time writes his PR blog and works out at Lifetime Fitness bench pressing 225 lbs with his gym buddies.