Yes. Or at least according to a couple of blog posts in the SEO blogosphere.
Back in December Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan asked what “social signals” Google and Bing count in their algorithms. Previously, the answer would have been none, as far as Twitter is concerned, because like most social media (including blog comments, forum posts and social networks) any links posted on Twitter carry a ‘nofollow’ tag, instructing search engines to ignore it.
But now that Twitter has signed deals with the big search engines, they now get the “firehose” of data from Twitter direct – without nofollow attributes. Bing tell Sullivan:
“We take into consideration how often a link has been tweeted or retweeted, as well as the authority of the Twitter users that shared the link.
Google tells him:
“We use the data only in limited situations, not for all of general websearch.”
The post contains more information about how both search engines use the “social authority” of a user (followers, followed, etc.) to further rank links.
A case study
Yesterday, the issue gained a fascinating case study from SEOmoz (image at top), when one of their articles suddenly appeared on the first page of Google search engine results for the term “Beginner’s Guide” following a tweet from Smashing Magazine and hundreds of retweets. Continue reading