Chapter 11. Social Media and Search

Social media’s impact on search is perhaps the biggest shift in search since Google launched.

As people become connected online, and connect to others, their social profiles grow. At the time of writing, Facebook had over 750 million active users, and Twitter over 200 million registered users. Google has also recently announced Google +1 and Plus (, services that will bring social interaction and engagement to the search giant.

Further, Google and Bing have both confirmed they use Twitter as a search ranking signal, and Bing receives data from Facebook to rank pages for users who are logged into their Facebook profiles. Google will likely continue this trend and build upon its Plus project.

It is not a question any more of “if” social signals will play a role in search rankings—they are playing a role. The upside to this is that some of the most likely influential signals are also already highly trackable. From a search measurement standpoint, the key things to measure are:

  • Facebook likes

  • Tweets and retweets on Twitter

  • +1s on Google

These three social signals are perhaps the strongest and most important from the perspective of influence over search results. Due to the newness of social media and its impact on search, however, measuring these signals is still a relatively new space.

Tools you will need in this chapter:

  • Tweet trackers (,, etc.)

  • Facebook dashboard

  • Spreadsheet program (Excel or something ...

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