How Social Signals (don’t) Impact Search Engine Rankings

This morning I saw an infographic on Quicksprout about the impact of Social Signals on rankings. You can see the infographic here. About 90% of the comments on the post are worthy of SEOstupidity.

Now the interesting point is that this come out some days after the Matt Cutts video telling exactly the opposite.

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.
Matt Cutts

Here the full video answering the question “Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm? How much do they matter?”

So what? Why this post?

Usually to prove a theory is very difficult, but to debunk it’s very easy.

On the 9th of December 2013 on our Italian Marketing Blog we published an article talking about an Amnesty International Campaign. The results was the following in terms of Social Signals (expecially from Facebook).

  • Facebook (Likes: 34117, Shares: 14216, Comments: 1748, Total: 50081)
  • Twitter (Tweets: 462)
  • Google +1 (+1s:212)
  • Pinterest (Pinned: 40)
  • LinkedIn (Shares: 31)

social signals ranking

Great. Nop?

Searching in incognito mode with chrome for the exact title of the post we get the following

social signals facebook

The page doesn’t rank well for a very long and specific key

Lots of pages rank better than our page without any comparable social signal.

Yes! But only one…

Look carefully the following

social signals ranking 2

  • Facebook (Likes: 646, Shares: 256, Comments: 342, Total: 1244)

and then search for the exact title of the post. What you get is

social signals facebook 2
I think it’s self explanatory.

Do you like this silly research?

Concluding like all those posts and silly researches “proving” Social theories based on very poor and unscentific testing:

Facebook DOESN’T influence ranking at all.

No more words needed. Thought.

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