Do Social Signals Have an Impact on Organic Rankings?

Many people know the importance of social signals when it comes to online marketing, but do these various social sites have an impact on Google’s organic rankings? Google has been back in forth on this question over the past few years. John Muller addresses this issue in Google’s latest Webmaster Hangouts saying, in simple terms, that social signals do not directly impact organic search rankings. But there may be more to this answer than meets the eye.

Muller went on to explain that many social networks have a nofollow on the links they post so it does not provide any ranking benefits. But, social posts often show up in search results due to the content within the post. These post can rank for keywords, product name and content, and  by showing up in search results can help your overall online presence.

Twitter & Google + recognizes that there is relevant information to the user and provides that content in the search results. For example, Google now shows Twitter content on both mobile and desktop search results. This doesn’t allow for your content specifically to rank higher but it does allow for there to be more content with your company, brand name and information on it that Google may choose to show in search results.

Social Networks provide significant benefits including sharing content and additional exposure to your brand that can lead to indirect traffic. There is a correlation between content that is shared often ranking well in search results. Widely shared content tells Google it is good content, and this will often be reflected in the rankings. Although Google is more likely to rank highly shared content there is still no direct ranking signal in Google’s algorithm. But just because Google’s algorithm doesn’t provide a direct correlation between social signals and organic search rankings doesn’t mean there is no benefit to these sites. Besides from sharing content social sites give your brand a reputation, they also help internet users identify and increase loyalty towards your brand.

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