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Do Social Signals contribute to your position in Google?

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So one of the most compelling reasons for some businesses to do social is to get a benefit in the Search Engine Results. It is often argued that Google can pick up the Likes, Shares and Tweets attributed to a business and use these social signals as a ranking factor.

Well, Matt Cutts (the head of Google's web spam team) had this to say about it on 22nd Jan:

"To the best of my knowledge we don't currently have any signals like that"

"I think over ten years we are more likely to understand identity.. understand the social connections between people ... but at least for the time being we have to understand the web as it is."

So here are my take homes from this video by Matt Cutts bearing in mind his comments were specifically about Twitter and Facebook.

Tweeting and Facebooking by itself won't get you higher up Google, today.

But the more people that know about you the more likely your shares, likes and tweets will get you noticed by a new audience who may well write about you, link to you and therefore push you up Google. As well as all the other substantive benefits of social - engagement with your audience and driving traffic to your site. So just to underline the point -  social signals do corellate with better rankings because quality content will always rise to the top.

Google Plus will help you in the results: because Google owns it, it is already embedded in Search Results and Google does understand it's social connections - you should get Rich Snippets onto your site.

One day Google will use social signals - and you won't be able to go back in time to start doing social. Its best to start now, or make it more meaningful now. Because when Google does start to use these signals (in way less than 10 years time) it will be too late for you if you haven't engaged from today.

Thanks for the insight Matt.

seo, social media,

By Simon Crisp (Google+), Director, Edward Robertson Limited

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