How Social Signals Help SEO

Today We Know: Social Signals Boost Rankings!

For more than 3 years, the SEO community has been toying with the notion that Social Signals may play a significant role in the ranking algorithms of search engines.

More recently however, these notions have started to become accepted as fact, as evidence begins to mount suggesting the outsized effect social signals can have on a website’s search rankings and organic traffic.


While the precise effect has yet to be determined, we do know there is a strong correlation between Social Signals and SEO rankings:

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 The Evidence that Social Signals Work:

In two years, companies playing in competitive niches that don’t have a robust social strategy will be left in the dust by those that do; Social signals are becoming the new “link” in terms of overall importance in the ranking algorithm. While I don’t believe the value of links as a ranking signal will ever completely disappear, I do believe that direct and indirect impacts of social signals will eventually surpass links as the most valuable ranking factor.

From Searchmetrics



 The  Experts Weigh In

Even more recently, is the belief now that the hummingbird update, in large part, turned on the algorithm to increase the effect os social signals on a site’s rankings:

Both links and social signals are forms of social proof, but they have different aspects to how they work and what is involved. For that reason, I expect there will be differences in how they are applied by Google. Regardless, building your reputation across many platforms and getting lots of different types of social proof signals is the heart of online marketing these days.


The Logical Step

Quite possibly the most important factor in this debate is that it just makes sense!  If a search engine’s goal is to give users the most popular and authoritative results to a search query, then it stands to reason taht social signals, by far the most democratic type of link, would invariably be a part of this calculation. To argue differently would be nonsense.

As we continue to learn about the effect social signals may have on the algorithms of search engines, we should recognize that this is an inevitable tide.  NOW is the time to start building social signals to your website to make sure you’re ready for the updates that are sure to come.


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