Do Social Signals Matter For Search Rankings

Do Social Signals Matter For Better Search Rankings?

Yes, social signals matter, according to the SEO Ranking Factors – Rank Correlation 2013 report.

When I was writing about the Flare Blog Post Sharing Plugin, I was looking for some good data to backup the correlation between social signals and search engine rankings.  It just came a week later.


Social Signals

In order to understand why social signals matter we should have a good understanding of what they are.  

Simply put – a social signal is a link from someone’s social networking profile to your web page. If you were to click on the ‘like’ button next to this very blog post then you, my friend, have given me a ‘social signal’. – Social Media Today

FYI:  I would like it very much if you gave me 2 or 3 social signals right now!

Basically, Google figures if you think a blog post, image, video, email, or page is worth sharing on your Social Media networks, then it must be good content.  Thus, they will give the originator of that content an SEO tally, if you will.  


Social Signals Matter

SearchMetrics report is based off of 10,000 keywords that they analyzed for the year of 2012. 

The analysis of 10,000 keywords led to: 

 30,000 SERPs (search engine result pages)
 300,000 titles, descriptions, URLs, etc.
 Approx. 150 GB of data
 Approx. 600,000 AdSense blocks
 Approx. 5,300,000,000 backlinks
 Approx. 4,150,000,000 Facebook shares
 Approx. 12,950,000,000 Facebook likes
 Approx. 600,000,000 Facebook comments
 Approx. 1,000,000,000 tweets
 Approx. 330,000,000 Google plus ones
 Approx. 14,500,000 Pins

That is a ton of data and social signals to come to a conclusion.


What was the conclusion?

That more Google +1, Facebook Shares, Facebook Comments, Facebook Likes, Pinterest Pins, and Tweets from a website correlated to a higher search engine ranking.

It is important to point out that based on this study it does not necessarily mean that more social signals = a higher search ranking.  Rather that sites that had higher search engine rankings had more social signals.


Ok.  Then maybe it just means that sites that have better content, and get more visibility get more +1’s, Likes, Tweets, and Pins…

Except that the correlation to higher search engine rankings has increased over last year.  


Google +1’s had the highest correlation on number of shares per search engine rankings.

Google +1 Social Signals to Search Rankings 

Followed by Facebook.

Facebook Social Signals to Search Rankings

Then Twitter Tweets.

Twitter Tweet Social Signals


Finally, Pinterest Pins.


Again this could be just because people are getting more used to sharing content.  However, as they point out in the report Social Signals have the closest correlation to search engine rankings of all the SEO Factors they studied.

Although this data does not absolutely mean that social signals are the strongest form of SEO juice right now…  I would say it is pretty darn convincing that Social Signals Matter For Search Rankings!

By |2015-11-03T21:35:18+00:00July 2nd, 2013|

About the Author:

Jason Fox - Real Estate MarketingBusiness: We build WordPress Real Estate Websites with IDXMe: #GoHawks, #BringBackTheSonics, #MaybeNextYearMariners, #ILoveMyKids #SeattleSunLover #SeattleWaterLover #BFFBlog: Focuses on Wordpress Websites, Content Management, SEO Services, SEM Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Beautiful Design, IDX, and more.


  1. gary schmidt July 9, 2013 at 8:57 am - Reply

    yet another great post jason. keep up the great work!

  2. Designer Sarees August 14, 2013 at 12:23 am - Reply

    A very good and informative post, thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  3. Francis August 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Sir!

    I would like to ask permission to use the data that you presented in this blogpost into an infographic. I’ll be using it merely as a content for my experiment about social signal. Hoping to grant to convert this post into infographic. I’ll leave credits to this post if needed.

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