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Do social media signals impact website rankings? [ Infographic ]

Posted on May 2, 2012 in Blog | 3 comments

Do social media signals impact website rankings?

If you own a website,  or are involved in search engine optimisation, you will understand the  importance of your sites positioning in the search engine rankings.  Getting your website on the first page of Google’s search results can drive an influx of new customers, build brand awareness and even attract advertisers willing to pay for their ads to appear on your site

Unfortunately, there is much more to achieving high rankings  Google than just optimising your website for your target keywords and all the other elements required to position your website. Your Brand’s Social media footprint can now  hinder or assist it’s search results positioning.


We came across a great infographic  that  Austin based SEO company TastyPlacement have  put together to illustrate the results of a test they undertook to see if  social signals from Google+, Facebook and Twitter really do have any affect on the  search results.


As part of the test TastyPlacement created six websites based in six similarly-sized US cities. They let them settle in the index for ten months, and then began testing with the major social networks, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for each site, focusing on the following social signals for each site 1-5:

  • Number of Twitter followers
  • Number of Tweets and retweets
  • Number of both Facebook shares and likes
  • Number of followers to each of the site’s Google+ business page
  • Number of Google +1 votes to each sites homepage

The sixth site in the test was not promoted at all and used as  a control.

They promoted each of the five websites using the chosen social network for that month’s promotion, and then measured and recorded how each site’s search ranking moved for a set of keywords that was determined at the outset of the test.

So did social media signals have any influence on the search results?

They certainly did and the results were eye opening to say the least!

Overall, the individual site’s ranking changes  ranged from a fall of 1.22%  up to a whopping  rise of 14.63%  This experiment clearly shows that the  social media footprint your website has does indeed affect your site positioning in the search results.

Unsurprisingly or not depending which side of the conspiracy theory fence you sit on as to whether Google does indeed favour it’s own properties in the search results. It was  Google’s own social network Google+ that  yielded the best results by a significant margin. The website in the testing that was linked to a dedicated Google+ business page saw a full 14.63% rise in its search position, while the website that had a Google+ +1 button rose 9.44%

Sadly, the same impressive results were not mirrored for Twitter or Facebook. Targeting  Twitter tweets & retweets only got the website a 2.88% rise in Google’s search results, and adding an additional 1,000  Twitter followers actually caused one of the site’s position to fall by 1.22% . Facebook promotion resulted in a rise of 6.9% with 70 Facebook shares and  50 likes to the sites linked Facebook page.

Do social media signals impact website rankings? [ Infographic ]

social signals google website rankings








Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Seo Serp Watcher

    I appreciate that it is a small data set that was sampled in the test, however it looks pretty clear that the google algo is favouring it’s own social graph signals to give any additional rankings boost. Should the coined trust rank of old be given a new name? “anti trust” rank

  2. Clarinda

    what a great post! thanks very much for sharing it with us…

  3. LukeW

    Thanks for the heads up best get my gooogle+ profile set up quickly then!

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