There had been much speculation in recent years about whether social signals from Facebook and Twitter factor into Google search algorithm. No one had a concrete answer to this until Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released a video answering the much talked about question, “are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm?” And the short answer was no.
Here’s what Cutts had to say:
Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it, then we can return that in our search results. But as far as doing special specific work to sort of say “you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook”, to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.
Cutts in his video, also pointed out a big problem with crawling social profiles as they tend to change frequently, and Google only samples the web at specific points in time.
Should we stop using Facebook or Twitter? Of course not. Cutts pointed out that there is a lot of value in promoting a brand and it’s offerings via social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
BuzzFeed, a social news and entertainment website with monthly unique views of around 90 million, gets 75 percent of its unique views from social sources, Facebook being the biggest referrer.
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