Google and Social Signals



by Chris Cantell & John Pearce


In this teaching, we are going to take a detailed look at social links, social signals and what is important as far as Google is concerned with regards to social signals.

Now, the entire social aspect of SEO needs some expalanation if we are to gain a level of understanding on what Google factors and what we need to do to ensure maximum effect in our SEO.

It seems that just about every “SEO guru” is saying that you need social signals if you want to rank your site, so in this training, we are going to take a look at this and break down the truth of it all.

what_are_social_signalsFirst of All What Are Social Signals?

When “SEO Guru’s” talk about Facebook likes, shares, Tweets, re tweets etc, they are referring to these when they say you need social signals and not social bookmarks.

Let’s look at an example.  If we take a look at the Social Media tool on the website:

We can see an example of social signals that are present on the following web page:


Here, we can see that the web page has the following social signals:

386 x Facebook Shares

616 x Facebook Likes

180 x Facebook Comments

  99 x Tweets

  53 x Google +1’s

This popularity tool has scrapped the social sites and numerated the number of actions taken on each of the sites towards this web page. This tool lets us see a total number of social signals conveniently in one place.

The Truth About Social Signals

truthIf I was to do a poll to ask people which social platform was the most important social signals to get to help their site rank in Google, I would expect by far the majority of people to say Facebook. That is very interesting, because Facebook is actually not factored at all by Google as a “social signal”, and neither is Twitter right at this moment in time (although Twitter will be a social signal ranking factor soon). So the SEO industry is actually very misinformed and in many cases spending a lot of time generating social signals to an extent that is not entirely necessary, although towards the end of this manual I will slightly contradict myself, but we can come to that later.

Now it’s important to note that Google can crawl a public FB page or Twitter page and crawl any backlinks (FB shares, backlinks in Tweets) – and we’ll address this more, and how these pages relate to social signals, a little later in this teaching.

In my next post, we’ll take a look at what Google actually does factor, what they want us SEOers to believe,  and why!  Stay tuned.

1 Comment

  • John Pearce

    Reply Reply March 26, 2015

    Guys – just to let you know we are going to hold comments off until we have finished the series. Otherwise we are going to be answering questions multiple times over that are going to be answered through the series! Please bear with us.

    John and Chris

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