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.
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.
Followed by Facebook.
Then Twitter Tweets.
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!