Does Google use data from social sites in ranking?

By | September 19, 2019

All right. We’re back for another round
of webmaster questions. A lot of questions today. We got almost 500, so we
won’t get to all of those. But there were a lot of
really interesting ones. Let’s start off with the most
popular one, which came from Web SEO Analytics. They asked, Hello, Matt. A recent article of Danny
Sullivan’s suggests that Google uses Twitter and Facebook
links as a ranking signal. Can you confirm this? Can you elaborate a
little bit more on this? Yes, I can confirm it. We do use Twitter and Facebook
links and ranking, as we always have, in our
websearch rankings. But in addition, we’re also
trying to figure out a little bit about the reputation of an
author or a creator on Twitter or Facebook And let me just
give you a little bit of background on that. I filmed a video back in May
2010, where I said that we didn’t use that as a signal. And at the time, we did
not use that as a signal. But now, we’re taping this in
December 2010, and we are using that as a signal. So the exhaustive place, if you
really want comprehensive information, is to go look up
Danny Sullivan’s article, and we can leave that as a link in
the description of the video. But essentially, to give you a
little more background, a little bit more color, the web
search quality team has a lot of different groups and a
lot of different offices. So people, including the
original blog search team, people who worked on real time
search, have been working on using these sorts of
things as a signal. So primarily, it has been used
a little bit more in the real time sort of search, where you
might see individual tweets, or other links showing up and
streaming up on the page. We’re studying how much sense
it makes to use it a little more widely within our
web search rankings. Now, there’s a few
things to remember. Number one is, if we can’t
crawl a page, if we can’t see a page, then we can’t really
assign page rank to it, and it doesn’t really count. So if we’re able to obtain the
data, then we can use it. But you know, if, for some
reason, a page is forbidden for us to crawl, or we’re not able
to obtain it somehow, then we wouldn’t be able to use
that within our rankings. This is something that is used
relatively lightly, for now, and we’ll see how much we use
it over time, depending on how useful it is, and how
robust it ends up being. The one thing I would caution
people about, is don’t necessarily say to
yourself, aha. Now I’m going to go out and
get reciprocal follows, and I’m going to get a ton of
followers, just like people used to get a ton of links. In the same way that page rank
depends on not just the number of links, but the quality of
those links, you have to think about, what are the
followers who mean quality? You know, who are the people
who actually are not just bots, you know, or some software
program, or things like that? So it is a signal that
we’re starting to use a little bit more. You’ll see it most within our
sort of real time search, as it’s streaming through. But we’re looking at it
more broadly within web search as well.

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