Facebook, as we all know, is the largest social media platform in the world today with around 1 billion users. A vast majority of those 1 billion users are actively posting and sharing content but does posting content on Facebook affect Google search engine results?
Matt Cutts, the guy in charge at Google’s webspam department, made some useful comments about this topic earlier in the year. It is hard to ignore this guy given the information is coming direct from Google although there is debate in the industry.
So Matt Cutts tells us that Facebook pages are just like any other web page in that if Google can crawl it then they can index it. The problem with Facebook is that a user’s profile could block the search engines from seeing the content if that content has security settings associated with it. It makes sense, if I have a post that is available to just my friends then the Googlebots may not be able to get to it.
Matt Cutts goes onto say that Google gives no notice of social signals, such as likes and shares, in their Google algorithm. He is saying that if your content has lots of likes and shares then Google doesn’t rank the content any higher or lower. Most likely what is happening is that the content is most likely very good, which is why it gets the likes and shares in the first place.
There have also been a large number of studies done on the subject and most people are coming up with the same sort of results.
Does that mean you should not use Facebook? Absolutely not! Facebook is a great tool to share information about your company and to communicate with your customers. Sharing great content is a great way to get people interested about what you are doing.
There is no evidence that Google uses Facebook to discover, index or rank content on the web.
The best way to look at social signals is that a page with lots of social signals, likes and shares, is most likely a quality page with quality content and thus that is why it has so many likes and shares, not the other way around.
Google could change this at any time, but for now, this is how it is.