Google Rankings: Just How Much Do Social Signals Come Into Play?

Extent of Social Signals Affecting Google Rankings

Google Rankings: Just How Much Do Social Signals Come Into Play?

Everyone is wondering what works best for SEO, and many search experts are of the opinion that search has become social. They’re right.

Google’s newest algorithm places a great deal of importance on social signals. Social media mentions and interactions are playing a major part in search engine placement. Of course, this doesn’t mean that companies are out of the game if they don’t have a large number of likes on Facebook or if they didn’t have a massive amount of followers on Twitter. Google is looking for proof that businesses are socially active. Essentially, these new-age backlinks involve interactions and mentions by consumers across a range of social media networks.

A recent study regarding Google ranking factors uncovered that 5 of the top search factors considered by Google are social. These factors are:

  • Facebook Shares
  • Facebook Total Fans/Friends
  • Facebook Likes
  • Facebook Comments
  • Twitter Tweets

Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+ strongly affect whether or not a site ranks highly with Google’s search engine.
In addition to social signals, there are currently other factors that can affect search engine rankings for a site. These factors include:

Advertising Can Be a Hindrance

Too many advertisements can hurt a site’s rankings. Google still views massive amounts of advertisements as akin to spam, and spam is definitely a no go for high rankings. Apparently Google officially announced that Adwords and Adblocks appearing at the top of a page will cause a site to be penalized.

Backlinks Are Still Golden

Yes, social media has become a force to be reckoned with—and this is becoming more apparent. However, backlinks continue to be a major factor in achieving great SEO rankings. It’s best to pay close attention to developing SEO trends. Trends change rapidly so even though backlinks don’t affect Google rankings as much as it used to, it doesn’t mean all backlink efforts should be thrown out of your SEO strategy completely.

Big Brands Stay Big In Search

Brand building is what makes the web go around and a great brand can eliminate SEO logic completely. The strongest brands can rank highly without having to conform to accepted SEO structure. Just think Nike, McDonalds and Apple. Simply naming these 3 brands would have had you thinking about a swoosh, golden arches and a bitten apple. Obviously, building a strong brand is still the best way to achieve search success.

Domain Names, Keywords, & Higher Rankings

Domain names with keywords take the prize when it comes to higher search engine rankings. They trump keywords in URLs and headers. In fact, having keywords in headers doesn’t really make a difference in ranking if you’re competing against a domain with its keyword as its name. A fully optimized article targeting the keyword “Social Metrics Pro” wouldn’t be able to outrank itself.

Google+: No One Really Knows if it Matters

Google+ is still an unknown factor in search engine rankings. The social media platform may be a boon to publishers and authors. Content created by Google+ users can show up already linked to Google+ profiles. The social media network is still too new and the data is still incomplete on whether or not Google+ makes a difference in rankings. But I wouldn’t strike out the possibility anytime just yet.

What This Means to You

It would be wise to pay attention to social signals. Data is already proving that social signals create a significant impact on SEO traffic. It’s highly imperative for sites to create compelling content that inspires users to like and share across social media networks. No one can guarantee that social signals make a difference, but the numbers don’t lie.

Developing a recognized brand with a wide degree of influence in social media can impact search engine rankings. All of us should be creating quality content worthy of sharing and distributing across social media channels. By doing so, companies will be cultivating relevant backlinks and gaining from social shares. It’s a simple concept that can offer a huge payoff.

How are you generating social signals for your website?

Loading Facebook Comments ...