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Do Facebook and Twitter Links Help a Site’s Google Rankings?

By Max Thomas

Last week Matt Cutts posted a video response on the Google Webmaster Central Channel to the question, “How do you rate links from new platforms like Twitter, FB to a website?”  Along with clearing up any mis-perceptions about for how long he’s staying “bald” (see why), Cutts gives the low-down on how Google treats links from Facebook and Twitter, as well as links from .Edu and .Gov sites.

As Cutts explains, “We [Google] use Pagerank so we know how ‘reputable’ the site and inbound links are.” This re-iterates the importance Google places on the quality of a link versus the sheer quantity of links, with the Pagerank (of the linking url) being the definitive indicator of a particular link’s quality.

As for Facebook and Twitter, Cutts further explains that Google can only fetch a link if the site is public where Google can crawl it. For Facebook, many profiles aren’t public; while for Twitter, most links are nofollow (which makes sense given the enormous potential for spam if Twitter offered dofollow links).

In addition, Cutts commented, “We treat links the same from Twitter or Facebook or platform or website…just like we treat links from wordpress or Edu…a link from an Edu won’t carry more weight.” So there you have it — previously coveted links from .Edu and .Gov sites are not more highly valued than links from other domains. Again, the important indicator is the url’s Pagerank (or “authority”).

For many, this is not news but it’s always helpful to hear clear statements such as these from Google.

Has your experience with links from Twitter and Facebook, as well as .Edu and .Gov sites, been consistent with what Cutts describes above? Do you agree with how Google handles these inbound links? Please share your thoughts…

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Max Thomas

By Max Thomas

Max is a nationally recognized digital marketing specialist who is an expert on search engine optimization and data-driven digital marketing who has spoken at SMX and SMX Advanced, LMA Southeast, LMA Tech in San Francisco, WordCamp and other industry recognized conferences. As the founder and CEO of ThunderActive, Max has lead his team (with offices in San Diego and New York City) to success for clients in legal, real estate, life sciences, consumer goods and new tech. A Columbia undergraduate with a Yale MBA, Max is an Impact Circle Member for The Trevor Project and is an advisor to start-up companies and angel investment networks, including Gaingels and Serval Ventures in New York.

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