Comments Off on Social Signals and Google Rankings
If you ever watch American Idol, the judges always seem to mention an X-factor. Something special and somewhat intangible that makes one singer better than the other. Google works in tangible ways but sometimes understanding why one site ranks above all others seems to be governed by some mystical x-factor. Usually within seconds of looking at a site I can guess how well or not it will rank. This might all change if Google starts using social signals as a ranking factor. Social signals add an x-factor to rankings because it is something not measured by page content or traditional backlinks. Social signals are tweets, likes, diggs, Google pluses, etc. which socially judge the value of content. The more socially positive the content the higher it will rank.
So how do you see social signals?
One way used to be Google’s social graph api which showed social connections and allowed developers to use the social information gathered by Google. However, Google’s social graph will be retired on April 20, 2012. However, another Google tool might be help, Google Alerts. By creating specific alerts about your brand or web site you can monitor your social signals. You can even set up alerts to monitor your competitors. The goal is to understand the social activity regarding your business and perhaps encourage it to grow. Another tool is Klout, which gives a score of your personal social significance.
There is a spin-off benefit that by becoming more social active you not only might improve your Google rankings but drive more visits from social media itself.