How Social Signals Impact Search Engine Rankings

Battle of the Top

There are numerous advantages to having a social media platform, and these don’t stop at increased engagement, better communication, and stronger sales. In fact, even if Twitter and Facebook accounts are not bringing you significant sales, they still have great value.

In fact, both Google and Bing search engines use data from social media to determine each website’s rank. This means you can leverage social media to increase your business’ rank and visibility. Several studies have been done on the matter and they have all shown direct correlation between social media and search rankings.

To determine the rank each website has, Bing and Google take into account the number of shares and likes a URL has as well as its number of +1. For Twitter, the rank depends on the number of tweets and retweets each URL has. However, these tweets and retweets are not all equal – the search engines take into account the authority of the person who’s tweeting the URL.

Case Studies On The Matter

Several Case studies have been done to determine the correlation between social media shares and search engine rank. Here are a few of them: Experiment. Shrushti wanted to test out the power of social media. Their intention was to test out whether the could rank a page for a keyword using only social signals. The keyword they used was “Argos Voucher Codes March 2013”. Although this keyword is not very competitive, the page Shrushti used had two lines of duplicate content.

The results were impressive: the page got social signals from several different sources, without any backlinks. It also jumped from the 400th place to the first page in a google search in just a few days. So, it is clear that Google Plus’ and Facebook’s likes and shares, as well as Twitter’s tweets and retweets, can do a lot for low-competition keywords, even if these are on pages with duplicate content. Experiment

Another great example is As soon as they published their “Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Smashing Magazine, tweeted it. This was the right thing to do for the results were outstanding. Their search engine traffic for the “beginner’s guide” keyword rose significantly and their page appeared on the first page for the keyword. Of course, they would not have had such fantastic results if they didn’t have so many followers on Twitter, but now it is clear that tweets from power users have the potential to influence the short term rankings of certain keywords.

The Social Signal Experiment

Similar results were demonstrated in the Social Signal Experiment. This experiment involved the creation of 6 websites, in six cities of the same size. All of the websites were in the same niche and had similar content. The experiment was to see the effect that various social media factors have on the ranking of the page. Here are the results:

  • Site #1 saw their ranking go up 14.63% after it received 100 Google+ followers to their Google+ business page.
  • Site#2 saw their ranking go up 9.44% after it got 300 Google +1 votes.
  • Site #3 saw their ranking go up 6.9% after it received 50 Facebook likes and 70 shares.
  • Site #4 saw their ranking go up 2.88% after it got 50 tweets.

How To Get More Social Shares

Social Media Shares

Here are some great tips for getting more Social Media Shares:

  1. Post on the right day and at the right time. Statistics show that the best days for posting are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and the weekend, and the best times are 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, and 6pM EST. These are the days and times that are more likely to be seen, noticed, and shared.
  2. Add an image. Most people are visual and they are more likely to notice and like a post if it has a graphic attached. In fact adding a graphic to the post can boost engagement by more than 200%.
  3. Post questions. Statistics show that social media users are 21% more likely to respond and engage in a question.
  4. Ask for a vote. Don’t be shy. Those who ask their social media followers for a vote, increase the chance of them liking the URL by more than 400%!
  5. Throw a contest. Everybody loves contests and throwing one for your social users can boost your social engagement by 39%.
  6. Do “list” and “How to” posts. Users love these informative and straightforward posts, which is why such posts generally get 47% more shares.

Whether you are just getting started with Social Media or are looking to take things to the next level, we are here to make a positive difference. To get started, schedule a 30 minute interactive session where we can answer some of your biggest questions and give you direction on how to accelerate your online efforts.


Most business owners don’t realize they are sitting on a “goldmine”. We show you how to discover the gold that is already in your business and transform it into a lifetime of leads, referrals, and sales. Before you invest in another marketing program or Social Media course, see what we are doing to get you results.


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