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Published by: Randy Ottmann on 18-Jan-15
 
Google Confirms Using Social Signals to Rank Websites

SocialMetrics 

Google’s recent revelation that it uses social signals to rank websites has caused drastic aftershocks in the online community. Networkers are busy changing their strategies to meet with the newest ranking factor developed by the head honchos at Google.

Search engine Google recently came out into the open with the newest parameter it uses to rank websites. Dubbed as social signals, this new method of website ranking has added to the growing importance of the world of social networking and marketing. This system of ranking will see Google use information from social networking portals such as Facebook and Twitter to assess the rank of websites.

‘Social signals’ is a collective name accorded to methods used by social networking websites to gauge online popularity. These include Facebook’s Likes, Twitter’s Retweets and Google’s Plus’ +1s. Among these, a definite leverage is commanded by Twitter’s Retweets, which are being considered as the most emphatic method right now to build links. Twitter allows its content to be retweeted a number of times, which adds up the social signals it sends. Google reveals that it uses such social signals to rank websites on its search pages.

Google justifies its position by stating that social signals are the most accurate measure of a website’s popularity. Social signals originate from users who genuinely like what they see and want to share it with their circle of people. Google uses this viral marketing strategy to constantly rank websites so that it can offer the most popular content to its users.

This revelation from the world’s biggest search engine has the search engine optimizers in a tizzy. Over the last year, backlinks had turned out to be the most popular modus operandi of marketers to optimize their websites. However, with the advent of social signals, backlinking has taken a backseat. Online marketers are rapidly employing new methods to improve their websites from the social networking point of view.

Plugins are being developed to measure the social signals accumulated by websites. Such plugins gather data from popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Digg, StumbleUpon and others to get a dynamic measure of the popularity of websites. Plugins such as Social Metrics Pro are compatible with specific blog platforms such as WordPress, and use methods such as color coding to differentiate the more popular content from the less popular one.

However, while some online marketers are busy changing their tactics to fit into Google’s new groove, there are a few who are unruffled. They hold the view that this is just another of Google’s ever-changing policies, which will not affect the world of SEO much. At the same time, there are others who are playing it safe and focusing on both backlinking as well as social signals to bring their websites to the top of the heap.

Randy Ottmann

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