It has been widely expected that search engines will use information from social media as one of the factors in ranking websites.
Early last year, Google denied using social media as a factor, but more recently both Google and Bing have confirmed using social signals in its ranking algorithm.
Social signals include factors such as how many followers your social website has, the quality of the information on it and the quality of the community surrounding it. In a similar way that links to your website represent a vote, “likes” in social networks would have a similar effect. Search engines use these signals as a way of determining the reputation of a website.
Social media factors are likely to grow in importance over the coming years as search engines seek to utilise platforms that have become part of the core of the current internet landscape.
With 500 million users actively using social media website Facebook and over 50 million tweets sent every day on Twitter, these social websites are a huge source that has so far mostly remained untapped by the search engines.