Can a tweet or Facebook status affect a website’s overall ranking? What about the quality of your followers? According to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s WebSpam team, they sure can!

In a recent Google Webmaster Help Video, Matt Cutts answers a question (derived from this Danny Sullivan post “What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?”) about how Google uses data from social websites to determine page ranking.

He first confirms that Facebook status updates and Twitter updates (when publicly available) are taken into account when determining a page’s rank. He also explains that while Google is still in the experimental phase of trying to determine how certain bits of information should be ranked, it is important (as it always has been important with Google) to make sure that your tweets, followers, and people you follow are at a high quality.

In the video posted above, Matt Cutts goes on to explain that the way they determine the value of social media content is similar to the way Google ranks webpages. As you may know, Google assigns page rank based on a very complex algorithm. A webpage’s rank for organic keywords is dependent not just on the number of links it receives, but the quality of those links (Google also considers the age of the link and the ranking of the website/page that link appears on).

Therefore we can infer from the video that while some small businesses may be think “more followers will make my Twitter presence more valuable,” Google’s algorithm is a little more intelligent than that. Using data that is publicly available they are getting closer to determining the quality of a person’s Twitter and Facebook page based on the quality of their followers and their follower’s followers.

Related reading:

How Tutors Can Build a Likeable Online Reputation

5 Free Local tools to Kick Start Your Tutoring Presence Online

How to Use Long Tail Keywords to Get Found by Local Searchers

Why Digital Darwinism is Making Your Tutoring Business Obsolete

featured photo by Travelin” Librarian

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