It has always been my opinion that the whole deal of search becoming more and more social was rather turgid. It probably still is. Exclusory of how many shares, likes or tweets it may receive, I believe content that is popular in social media is assumably already prominent among search engines. The cogs really began to turn when Rand posted his data and findings of social media’s influence on Google.
It is almost impossible for anyone to ignore the increasing association between very prominent social content and very high search rankings. Google and Bing both confirmed the use of social signals in rankings.
What Social Media Links Are Worthwhile?
Just like in non-social link building, not all links matter. There are millions of social bookmarking websites in existence, but it isn’t necessary for you to have an account with them all. It is unlikely that Google is looking at all the activity on all social media platforms.
So which ones are they looking at?
It is probable that search engines are at least looking at the following sites: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, because they are established, trusted social media platforms that are hosts to extensive user bases. Because they also all contain public profiles, search engines can learn about any user by indexing their profile.
Users share links differently across the networks. Digg and Reddit are pretty similar, but Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon are all considerably different. However, I believe there to be a link ranking method search engines use, that is applied to all of these sites. Authority, recency, frequency, and influence can rank social links.
Google and Bing both stated that they incorporate authority factors into how they value social links. And when it comes to social links, the most powerful link metric is user authority (user trust).
But just how are these factors incorporated? It will obviously differ between sites. User profiles are public with Facebook. Search engines can put the data that they see on the user’s wall and transfer it into their index.
This enables them to know how active users are, the topics in which they are interested in, and how popular they are within the network. If you’ve got a lot of activity around a specific subject then a comment about an unrelated subject may not have as much weight as a ranking factor.
This also applies to Twitter. Search engines can view tweets of users. They know who is following and who is being followed by who and while certain celebrities are popular on Twitter, search engines do not necessarily viewed them as an authority on anything, whilst a user with a few thousands or tens of thousands who all have a shared interest will be counted as an authority.
Search engines can see what content you share, like and subscribe to on social news websites. They are aware of the topics users are authorities on and how trusted they are on that topic.
StumbleUpon allows others to review the