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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.

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How Important are Facebook Likes for Search?

  1. 1. How Important are Facebook Likes for Search?<br />Marcus Taylor<br />
  2. 2. The correlation between pages that rank well and pages that have been shared or liked is high<br />
  3. 3. “We treat links shared on Facebook fan pages the same as we treat tweeted links. We have no personal wall data from Facebook.” <br />– Google, via Search Engine Land Interview<br />“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” <br />– Barry Schwarz, SE Roundtable<br />
  4. 4. In February I Started Experimenting..<br />I wanted to know for sure whether likes & shares impact indexation and ranking.<br /><ul><li>I took two unindexed domains – one which was two weeks old </li></ul>and one which was about two years old. <br /><ul><li>Both had 0 backlinks.
  5. 5. Both had no ability to ping Google (a setting common in WP)
  6. 6. I progressively added likes to these domains</li></li></ul><li>In March Facebook Likes = Indexation<br />In March I published a blog post on SEOptimise showing that the domains became indexed within several hours using only Facebook Likes.<br />
  7. 7. My Experiment for SMX<br />I added a varying number of likes & shares from multiple real Facebook accounts & pages to 100 unindexed URLs across 11 different domains.<br />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.<br />
  8. 8. The Result<br />0 visits from Googlebot<br />0 pages indexed in Google<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Has Something Changed?<br />
  11. 11. Perhaps, but does it actually matter?<br />
  12. 12. 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.<br />
  13. 13. Maybe the traffic that Facebook drives is more of a ranking & indexing factor than the actual direct like itself?<br />
  14. 14.
  15. 15. Thanks for Listening <br />@MarcusATaylor<br />

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