Confirmation: Social Authority does Influence Search Rankings

Thought Google Realtime has changed significantly (among other things, the deal with Twitter was not renewed) the influence of social interaction on the visibility of content is undeniable.

Beyond PR

Earlier this week we published a post about communicating in real-time, in which we discussed how quickly search engines surface conversations in social networks, and, furthermore, how social relevance also contributes to overall visibility for messages in search engines.

Yesterday SEO guru Danny Sullivan was able to confirm with both Google and Bing that “human authority” authority is in fact considered by both engines as they index content.   In a nutshell, writes Rand Fishkin on the SEOmoz blog, this means that links shared on Facebook and Twitter do in fact have a direct impact on search rankings.

Fishkin’s post makes some educated guesses about what sort of metrics search engines are using to gauge social authority, including:

  • Diversity of the people you influence – more is better
  • Relevance of surrounding content to subject matter (probably an indicator of expertise)
  • Quality of friends/followers – whether or not you influence fellow…

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