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The Role of Social Media in Search Engine Rankings

Firstly, a “social signal” is a measure of activity or recommendation through social media platforms such as a like on Facebook, a re-tweet on Twitter or a +1 on Google+.

So what kind of impact do these social signals have on rankings? Good question and one which is not hard to answer but relatively hard to quantify. In short, social signals do and will have an increasing impact on rankings in search engines in the future.

Google is pushing personalisation more and more in the search engine results. If Google has a good idea that you’re based in Leeds and you’re looking for a “domestic cleaner” Google will display “Leeds” related results for this term. Another method of personalisation used is past browsing behaviour. If you visit a particular website on a regular basis, wouldn’t it make sense that results from this website to appear above others in the search engines? Google thinks so and the more Google know about you, the more they believe they can deliver a better experience; better search results, more targeted ads etc.

Now back onto the social media aspect, taking the above personalisation points into consideration, it makes perfect sense that search engines use available data (likes, shares, re-tweets, interaction etc) to provide the most relevant, useful results to users i.e. the idea of if your friend has liked a piece of content, maybe you’d like that piece of content. The fact is consumers want the opinions and experiences of their peers.


When somebody has liked, shared or re-tweeted, that’s a real person and a real ‘recommendation’ which is extremely powerful data for search engines and why social signals will most likely have an increasing impact in the future.

While this post has covered the importance of social media and search engine rankings, there’s no denying the fact that if social media platforms are managed correctly they have the potential of driving huge amounts of traffic directly to your website and improving brand awareness.
If you would like to find out more and the social media packages that DBS offer, please call DBS on 01522 811688

Agree? Disagree? Do let Unknown know what you think by commenting below.

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