“Are social signals a Google ranking factor” is the perennial question asked repeatedly. Time and again, the leading search engine would answer a resounding “No.” Last year, Matt Cutts already gave the long story on video, while Gary Illyes and John Mueller gave a shorter response via tweets just recently.
There are glimpses of hope, though, for a possible marriage between SEO and social media, with Facebook’s implementation of Google App Indexing and the tech giant’s display of tweets on desktop SERPs.
However, most experts in search engine optimization think the possible complete joining of forces between the two would never see the light of day. Standard Examiner looks at the following reasons:
Crawling — Forbidden
In general, Google can’t access all of Facebook and Twitter pages. No matter how smart or advanced the top search engine may be, but it still couldn’t trespass the walls of most social networking sites without permission. Therefore, Google engineers have no way to know what the page is all about.
Because of this, incorporating social signals in Google’s sophisticated algorithm would be an awful waste of time and energy. Without any freedom to view every piece of content on these digital channels, the search engine couldn’t even begin to search.
Constantly Changing Posts
The fact that social media users can modify posts at any given time causes Google to think twice to crawl and index the personal information of users. The leading search engine could only know what the page said at one point in time. The moment the information changes on the same page the next minute, Google’s piece of information is already outdated, hence irrelevant.
The reality is no search engine has the resources thus far to monitor every single activity that happens on social media. It’s simply impractical to keep re-indexing pages whenever the updated version is out. Plus, the company is concerned about possible identity and privacy issues too.
In the perfect world, your friend can Google your exact Facebook post five years ago with the right keyword. But as of today, the closest union between social media and SEO is Google+ — for reasons we can all see.