SEO Grimsby FAQ: What are social signals?
One of Grimsby SEOs client’s ask me to explain what social signals are, and so I thought I’d share my definition and then try to explain their growing relevance and their role in SEO.
Social Signals are indicators to a search engine like Google, indicators that your brand or web presence is important and has high relevance.
Social signals could include:
- no. of Twitter followers for your brand
- no. of re-Tweets of your content
- a high authored Tweeter re-Tweets your brand or content
- no. of Facebook likes of your brand
- no. of Facebook shares of your content
Studies have shown that Social signals also include helping your ranking indirectly; by creating valuable in-links (Googles bread and butter for ranking), more repeat visitors, increase brand trust, and a stickiness that attracts consumers.
Social signals are meant to be paving the way for search, adding a social meauserment system to effect how your brand and content (Google authorship) rank in Googles SERPS.
We’ve had mix signals from Google as to the importance or even the usage of social signals but in 2010 Danny Sullivan concluded that data from Facebook was largely unused by Google, but that “retweets serve as a new form of link building. Get your page mentioned in tweets by authoritative people, and that can help your ranking in regular search results, to a degree.”
In 2010, Matt Cutts (Google) replied with a webmaster video confirming that social signals do have a use in organic SEO.
In 2011 Google launched it’s own social networking site Google Plus, or G+, Google states that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author, now Google has it’s own data on social signals and authorship, which has grown to become the 2nd largest social network, after Facebook.
G+ is the missing data that Google needed to monitor and improve how social signals should integrate into their ranking algorithm, it make sense to me that social signals play a big role in rankings now, and in the future.
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