How “Social Signals” from Twitter and Facebook affect Google and Bing WebSearch Rankings

December 7th, 2010

How much – if at all – are signals from your Social Media campaign affecting your keyword rankings on Bing and Google? Many people have been posing that question to Danny Sullivan at, so he went right to the sources to find out: “What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?”

In general, he discovered that how popular you are on Twitter can have an influence on where you rank in standard web search. It’s not a huge influence, but it’s there.

Rand Fishkin of, commenting on Sullivan’s interviews, said the announcement that social media matters not only confirms what many have suspected for over a year, but also makes it easier to predict which signals the search engines care about:

  • Diversity of Sources – Similar to link building, 50 tweets from one site is not as valuable as 50 tweets from 50 sites.
  • Timing: While initial sharing of a story is important, that story’s ability to continue being passed around is also vital.
  • Surrounding Content – The wording of the message containing the link may give the engines a lot of information about the relevance of the link.
  • Engagement Level – The quantity of likes, clicks, friends, etc. could have a bearing on the weight of the link.

Fishkin says this is excellent news for web marketers, saying organic marketing is “coming together faster than ever before, and that’s a very good thing.”

Overtime, it is our guess that as the search engines refine their “SocialRank” algorithms, those signals will have a larger affect on the organic web search rankings.   In other words, you should spend the time to promote yourself and your websites via social media but don’t expect miracles.  Its just one more piece of the pie.


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