If you needed proof that all of your tweeting was helping your website, this study from Searchmetrics should clarify things: tweets, Facebook likes and other social signals do appear to have a large impact on search engine rankings.
Searchmetrics looked at Google UK search engine results for 10,000 selected top keywords, 300,000 websites, and millions of links, tweets and shares.
Facebook is the highest correlated factor when it comes to search engine rankings – even higher than on-page optimization like domain name keywords and traditional off-page optimization like backlinks.
A share on Facebook is the strongest social signal related to Google rankings, even higher than the total aggregated influence of all social actions on Facebook. Next are Facebook comments and likes, both below the number of backlinks in terms of influence but stronger than any other factor.
And Twitter isn’t a slouch either when it comes to getting your website to the number one spot on Google. Tweets are the sixth most-correlated factor according to this study, above on-site images, keywords in the description of the site, backlinks with keywords and more.
You can take a look at all of the factors that Searchmetrics explored below, and see how social stacks up:
The study also found that the number of Google +1s a site had was the strongest factor in a higher search ranking – however, Searchmetrics was not confident in this relationship given the smaller active userbase and the relative newness of the network.
(Search engine image via Shutterstock)