With Google regularly updating search algorithms to ensure it’s delivering the most relvant and up to date content, it was only a matter of time before we started to notice the effects of social media, particularly Twitter, on our search results.
Google have confirmed that they have not only added social and blog search channels, but that social media also has some effect on regular search results.
Google will take into consideration if an article is retweeted or referenced much from Twitter and use this social signal when determining its search placement.
As part of this it will take into consideration Twitter users who have a large number of followers and will consider them to be authoratitive, giving greater relevance to the links they are tweeting about.
Is it useful to do this?
Personally I think it is. Its a bit like the search robot having several million content pickers filtering through the thousands of new pages which are created every day and flagging which are noteworthy.
What does this mean for my business?
It depends, but if you’re vying for the 90% of clicks which come from being on the first page of Google’s search results, you should probably be taking some notice. It is important to remember though that social media is only one of the many factors playing a part in your search rankings and that setting up a Twitter account for the sake of SEO probably isn’t going to do you any favours.
Remember, content is king and social media success relies on you having enough time and inclination to actually be sociable.