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Do Facebook shares contribute to search rankings? One San Jose Web Design and SEO expert seems to think so, or at least believes there is some correlation. “It’s probably not a direct contribution but it might have some nebulous impact,” Brandon Schwartz of Boomajoom.com writes. “I think that two things are going on with this.” What are they?
Factor #1: Google is lying. “They do this from time to time,” Schwartz writes, “…They claim to be open source while making most of their work secretive and private. They claim that they don’t pull Facebook data when the article clearly shows that they did (otherwise how would they have gotten the name of the person who shared it?).”
He continues, “Google lies. They will pull data from Facebook if they can find it and will do it without informing the social network because the worst that will happen is Facebook will make them stop through some legal injunction.”
Factor #2: What people share on Facebook are things that tend to rank high on Google. This is one way in which users can become their own social media agency. “As people search and find things relevant to them, I suggest that they’re likely to click all those little like buttons and inform their network,” Schwartz says. “This is a simple case of ‘winners win’ in internet marketing. Those at the top in the rankings achieve more and more publicity, through Facebook, backlinks, and everywhere else merely by being at the top.”
The example he gives is that of the California minister who predicted that Christians would be raptured on May 21, 2011. “I thought this was nonsense and did some searching to see if there were any Christians arguing against it. I found this article which ranked (and continues to rank) first for the searches ‘rapture won’t happen’ and ‘rapture won’t happen on May 21.’ After May 21, I revisited the article and found that it continued to get more Likes and Shares. People are still discussing this article, even though May 21 is well in the past. By mere virtue of ranking first for arguments against the rapture, this person continues to receive attention despite the fact that the article is now out of date.”
It’s the age-old concept of sewing and reaping, invest and return, what goes around comes around. This is how social media optimization and high SEO rankings are achieved through Facebook. Schwartz’ bottom line is, simply, “Those who receive are inherently more likely to continue to receive attention.”