Social Media’s Influence on Search Engine Results

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about Google’s move to “go social” and begin incorporating social media sharing into its search engine search results. The Google +1 button, the addition of social media metrics in (the new version of) Google Analytics, and on-page search results are all examples of Google’s new focus.


Sidebar view in the new version of Google Analytics

A Google search for: Klout Score yields these Page 1 results:

Liz Jostes shared the top post and Jennifer James shared the bottom one.


Notice both the Google +1 and Twitter sharing notations

Here at Eli | Rose Social Media, we get a solid amount of search engine traffic. To give you an example of how social media sharing could affect where your posts show up for others searching the internet, we conducted a quick experiment using the same search terms when signed into a Google account and when not.

Social Media Sharing & Search Engine Results Experiment

The keyword phrase searched: Pitch letter template

When signed into a Google account:

Page 1, Spot 3


When searching without being signed into Google:

Still on Page 1, but further down at Spot 7.

This same type of search experiment, but on Bing instead of Google, yields the same type of shift. Posts you’ve Facebook “Liked” will land at a higher spot when you are signed in to a MSN hotmail account versus when you are not (For those who don’t know, Bing and Facebook have integrated to incorporate Facebook “Likes” data).

Here’s what a search results entry looks like for a post that has been “Liked”.


Why the Change Based on Me Signing In?

Once you sign in to a Google or Bing account, your social media connections become apparent to the search engines. Google and Bing aim to present you with articles that will be most relevant to you, so if your friends like an article, it is believed that you might, too.

Am I Only Seeing Posts that I Shared?

No. You’ll see posts shared by people who you are socially connected with, too. In the Klout Score example above, Liz Jostes was seeing a post shared by herself and a post shared by Jennifer James because she and Jennifer are socially connected.

So What Can I do to Keep up with the Social Changes?

Start by adding Twitter retweet and Facebook Like buttons to the bottom of your posts. Then, retweet and “Like” your friends’ posts in hopes that they return the favor.

Do you actively retweet and “Like” your friends’ posts?

1 Comment

  1. NotJustAnotherJennifer

    I am better about RT than liking posts because FB defaults to my personal account, not my blog page.


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