How Important are Facebook Likes for Search?
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How Important are Facebook Likes for Search?

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This is my presentation from SMX London 2011 on How Important Facebook Likes are for Search.

This is my presentation from SMX London 2011 on How Important Facebook Likes are for Search.

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How Important are Facebook Likes for Search? How Important are Facebook Likes for Search? Presentation Transcript

  • How Important are Facebook Likes for Search?
    Marcus Taylor
  • The correlation between pages that rank well and pages that have been shared or liked is high
  • “We treat links shared on Facebook fan pages the same as we treat tweeted links. We have no personal wall data from Facebook.”
    – Google, via Search Engine Land Interview
    “Right now (March 2011) Google use Twitter, Google Reader, and other sites but currently do not use Facebook. So Facebook has no real direct impact on rankings as of yet”
    – Barry Schwarz, SE Roundtable
  • In February I Started Experimenting..
    I wanted to know for sure whether likes & shares impact indexation and ranking.
    • I took two unindexed domains – one which was two weeks old
    and one which was about two years old.
    • Both had 0 backlinks.
    • Both had no ability to ping Google (a setting common in WP)
    • I progressively added likes to these domains
  • In March Facebook Likes = Indexation
    In March I published a blog post on SEOptimise showing that the domains became indexed within several hours using only Facebook Likes.
  • My Experiment for SMX
    I added a varying number of likes & shares from multiple real Facebook accounts & pages to 100 unindexed URLs across 11 different domains.
    I tracked the raw log files & indexing to work out how long it takes Googlebot to visit a page after being liked and whether the quantity of likes affects indexation & ranking.
  • The Result
    0 visits from Googlebot
    0 pages indexed in Google
  • Has Something Changed?
  • Perhaps, but does it actually matter?
  • Even if not a direct ranking factor, Facebook likes can refer a large amount of quality traffic. This kind of quality traffic drives links & many behavioural ranking factors.
  • Maybe the traffic that Facebook drives is more of a ranking & indexing factor than the actual direct like itself?
  • Thanks for Listening 
    @MarcusATaylor