Google DOES use Twitter and Facebook links as a ranking signal. In addition, they are also looking at the reputation of the Tweet’s and/or Facebook update’s author or creator.
What does this mean?
Not all Tweets and/or Facebook updates are treated the same because search engines are now starting to rank YOU. The higher you rank the more search engines will trust that you can provide their searcher a good experience. What is a good experience? Actually, this could be several factors but let’s keep it simple – are you providing the searcher with the information searched.
Human rank is much like a web page rank.
The rank of a web page is primarily determined by how many other highly ranked and relevant web pages point to it with a link (backlink). So a web page about basket weaving will not benefit when a low ranking web page about skydiving links to it. In fact, it could even hurt the the basket weaving webpage
A few factors search engines will be looking at when determining Your human rank:
- how many people you follow; how many people follow you
- the reputation and influence of the people you friend and follow.
- the reputation and influence of the people that follow you
- the relevance of the people you friend and follow
- the relevance of the people that follow you
- the quality and relevance of your updates and tweets
- the quality of engagement your tweets and updates receive
- the reputation and influence of the people that @mention you
- the reputation and influence of the people that retweet you
I think you probably get the picture. If you would like to receive high rankings from search engines you will need to surround yourself with high quality people that relate to your industry. In addition, you need to take the time to create a real relationship with your friends and followers.
Why is it important to rank high?
- You, your tweets/updates and links will show up higher in search results. Simply put, you will get found by your target audience.
- You will be able to improve the rank of others by talking about them and linking to them. Now that is what I call Influence.
This isn’t only happening in the social search engines.
This has already been happening in social search engines which only serve you results from people you know. A few social search engines are
Is your target audience using these search engines? Probably not.
The good news is they are starting to use this in the traditional search engines like Google and Bing where your target audience searches. Although experimental for now, we all need to be prepared for it’s full adoption.
5 ways to improve your Human Rank?
- Find your industries influencers and follow them on Twitter. klout.com allows you to search for influencers by topic (keyword). Organize your influencers into a Twitter list. Check that list everyday to see how you can contribute to their influence by retweeting and/or answering one of their questions via @mention.
- Engage with your influencers and target audience on Twitter via @mention.
- Create a content strategy plan for your tweets. All Tweets need to relate to your industry and be high quality. I suggest finding and subscribing via RSS to your industry’s most trusted blogs. Use Google Reader to manage your RSS subscriptions. Everyday review your Google Reader for high quality and relevant links to share on Twitter and Facebook.
- Use Twitter Search to seek out similar topics or conversations where you can join.
Don’t worry I wasn’t going to ignore Facebook. When it comes to influencer outreach I would concentrate on Twitter first since every page is open to the search engines. It is a bit more difficult to determine human rank in Facebook since not all of your friends and fans have set their privacy settings to “everyone”. Of course, you should still be providing fantastic content on your Facebook Fan Page but that is for another blog post.
- It is best to start the relationship in Twitter prior to friending your influencers on Facebook. If they have Facebook fan page then “Like” it. Much like Twitter you will want to contribute to their influence by engaging with their Fan Page. You can easily check all of your influencers’ Page updates in a custom newsfeed by clicking on “Most Recent” on home page; click pages from drop down menu (see screenshot below). A few ways to engage are 1. “like” and comment their updates 2. let them showcase their expertise by asking them questions on their wall 3. share their links.