Facebook “Likes” Do Affect Your Google Ranking

Believe it or not, SEO goes well above and beyond the search page and keyword density. You may have great website keyword density and on-page search engine optimization (SEO) but how social is your content?

SEO Facebook Strategies

Can your visitors share or “like” an article or product that you post? Do you make it easy for others to share your products, services or content? If you don’t, you are missing the SEO boat big time.

I just came across a SEO article from back in March 2011, from another search engine website, that claimed that Facebook “likes” will not influence your Google search engine rankings (SER). Sure, I’ll give them that statement from earlier this year but times have changed and social search is more influential then ever.

When you share content through the Facebook “Like” button, you are telling the search engines that you prefer this content and want your network to know about it. For Google, it is similar to putting a “verified” stamp on the link and acting as its champion. To like it is to tell Google that it should pay more attention to it and share it with your network.

Let’s take an example from my own computer. If I search for “Social Media Milwaukee”, my top search results include an entry by my friend Phil Gerbyshak.

Phil Gerbyshak Twitter Stats

Phil liked his own website and Google knows that I’m connected with Phil through Facebook. Therefore, Google brought his recommended link to #1 of search engine results – even though this link came up as #7 when I run an algorithm to get his real search engine results for that term and domain.

Connections matter. Facebook “Likes” matter.

With that said, yes Virginia, Facebook “likes” do have influence on your Google page rank. The proof is in the SEO pudding.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sean

    You don’t specify which algorithm you used to determine the #7 ranking. Was it using the national (no localization)? I find it dubious that Google is promoting Facebook in this way, especially afer Google+ has been launched. Please elaborate.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Sean – The algorithm used was a proprietary app created by yours truly to give accurate Google rankings regardless to social media, cache or geo-targeting influence. This article was written before Google+ came out of beta and started influencing the search results.

      Social search is changing rapidly and what may influence one day could have a different effect the following day. This is why it is important to implement a Human SEO(tm) strategy for long-term results regardless of the search engine changes.

  • Jerry

    great post, ive been lookin at this angle more and more lately.

    After reading your post I went looking for case study analysis of likes, tweets g+1s etc, and found a very indepth case study on the topic, now i know for sure that this social signals do in fact help rankings, thats awesome.

    the link is here http://websitetrafficreport.net/do-facebook-likes-tweets-affect-seo-rankings.php

    thanks and great post, ill be back for more

    • Shannon Steffen

      Jerry – Thank you for the further information with the case study. It’s amazing the changes that are taking place online and it’s more important than ever for businesses to create an online strategy for social search.

  • Shaunrosenberg

    I didn’t know Google could do this. I thought part of the reason for the +1’s was that Google couldn’t get a hold of the information for the facebook “likes” like bing did when Bing and Facebook teamed up

  • Hammond Photography

    Interesting concept. Of course, it makes sense when you get past the “duh” reaction.

    • Shannon Steffen

      The “duh” reaction is always normal. It’s amazing how the simple things are always overlooked for the more complex.

  • Wandy

    Thank you for this information. Do you think businesses that pay for the “fake” likes will benefit as far as rankings go? For instance a company has over 2,000 likes but only 9 of those were ‘liked’ by real Facebook users. How do you think this affects or benefits the company in rankings?

    • Shannon Steffen

      No, I don’t think that businesses that pay for “fake” likes will benefit. The reason being is that Google takes into account the profiles and links from the pages/people/sites that “like” or add a link to help determine search engine rankings. For example, having a dog website provide a link to a mortgage company holds lower link juice than a dog website providing a link to dog rescue website. The former is apples and chocolate, the latter is a fiji apple and a gala apple (both apples though different varieties).

      Google has many different algorithmic codes to detect such unethical behaviors and they are getting smarter. That’s why Google has about 50 algorithmic changes a month.

  • Gareth

    Do you know if social search has been rolled out with Google Australia as of yet ? I don’t see any of these results when I google

  • Lenny

    I’m happy that social media now plays an significant role in our blogs which is more favorable to us.

  • James Norquay

    Google does have a correlation to data which is used via “Public” sources it also has a connection to “Share” button data, but in terms of “Private” data this is an area in which Google has no access what so ever to, Don’t get me wrong that public data is good but with out a large amount of private data you are left with on section of information. In short Google does use Facebook data but what they get in terms of hard facts is quite limited “Public” data.

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  • games.co.in

    thank you very much more a great eye opener……

  • SEORepublic

    I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work.

  • Agata Matusz

    But I do wonder, is it the likes that drive the position on Google ranking or is it the traffic that surely is directly correlated with engagement on the web page? Also, wouldn’t that cannibalise Google’s own +1 strategy? Google rewards you with higher ranking if your web page is +1’d and for your presence on Google+. I don’t see the reason why Google would give the same privilege to Facebook. #justsaying