It’s true, Google (and Bing) are now using Tweets as ranking signals for your website. They admitted as much to Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan in this interview. But does that now mean you should dash off and start Tweeting hundreds of times a day? NO. Don’t do it!
It’s important to understand HOW Google and Bing use Tweets about your website as signals. Patrick Altoft at blogstorm pulled out this extract that pretty much covers it:
Q: If an article is retweeted or referenced much in Twitter, do you count that as a signal outside of finding any non-nofollowed links that may naturally result from it?
A: Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings.
Q: Do you try to calculate the authority of someone who tweets that might be assigned to their Twitter page. Do you try to “know,” if you will, who they are?
A: Yes we do compute and use author quality. We don’t know who anyone is in real life
Q: Do you calculate whether a link should carry more weight depending on the person who tweets it?
A: Yes we do use this as a signal, especially in the “Top links” section [of Google Realtime Search]. Author authority is independent of PageRank, but it is currently only used in limited situations in ordinary web search.
What this tells us is this:
- If you haven’t yet got a Twitter account, get one.
- Check your competition – do they have a Twitter account? How do they use it? Who do they interact with?
- Tweet out your content, retweet others in your field, get involved.
It is likely that Facebook and other social networking platforms will count in the future – if they don’t already. In other words, practice good social media etiquette and actions.
It’s who you are, your ‘HumanAuthority’, that will determine how much authority is passed onto a link you share. As Bing put it:
We take into consideration how often a link has been tweeted or retweeted, as well as the authority of the Twitter users that shared the link.
That is massive. You need to gain good authority on Twitter and the people who retweet you need to have it – because despite links on Twitter being nofollows there IS authority being passed on!
What it comes down to, as ever, is good content and a good strategy. That your social media strategy is now even more closely connected to your SEO strategy is a good thing. And if you don’t have a social media strategy, now is the time to get one, because if you are matching your competition in pure SEO terms but they do better in social media – and especially Twitter – it is likely they will soon start to outrank you.
Fluid Search offer social media training that will help you take advantage of this latest news from the search engines. Give us a call to talk it through.