How Google Rates Links from Facebook and Twitter

Google's Matt Cutts Talks FB/Twitter Links and Pagerank

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The first Matt Cutts Answers Questions About Google video of the year has been posted, and in it Matt addresses links from Twitter and Facebook, after talking about his shaved head again. Specifically, the submitted question he answers is:

Links from relevant and important sites have always been a great way to get traffic & acceptance for a website. How do you rate links from new platforms like Twitter, FB to a website?

Do you rely on links from Facebook and Twitter updates? Discuss here.

Essentially, Matt says Google treats links the same whether they are from Facebook or Twitter, as they would if they were from any other site. It’s just an extension of the pagerank formula, where its not the amount of links, but how reputable those links are (the company uses a similar strategy for ranking Tweets themselves in real-time search).

While Facebook and Twitter links may be treated like any other links, they do still come with things to keep in mind. For one, with Facebook, you have to keep in mind that a lot of profiles are not public. When a profile is not public, Google can’t crawl it, and it can’t assign pagerank on the outgoing links if it can’t fetch the page to see what the outgoing links are. If the page is public, it might be able to flow pagerank, Matt says. With Twitter, most links are nofollowed anyway.

"At least in our web search (our organic rankings), we treat links the same from Twitter or Facebook or, you know, pick your favorite platform or website, just like we’d treat links from WordPress or .edus or.govs or anything like that," says Cutts. "It’s not like a link from an .edu automatically carries more weight or a link from a .gov automatically carries more weight. But, the specific platforms might have issues, whether it’s not being crawled or it might be nofollow. It would keep those particular links from flowing pagerank."

There you have it. Matt’s response probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most of you, but it’s always nice to hear information like this straight from Google.

Do you like the way Google handls links from Facebook and Twitter? Would you do it differently? Share your thoughts.

Related Articles:

> Tips for Getting Found in Real-Time Searches

> Google Makes a Second Real-Time Search Announcement

> Yahoo Rolling Out Something Kind of Like Real-Time Search

How Google Rates Links from Facebook and Twitter
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://www.duran-seo.co.il Duran seo

    whoever practices the worlds most competitve keyword terms on SEO
    probably noticed that caffeine has kicked in almost two weeks ago.

    results were seriously shuffled on the worlds most competitive terms,
    we can see clearly tha social media activity on twitter, facebook, bookamrking sites, social related networks helped keeping positions steday on the gushing water of caffeine.

    i am very glad for this post, as for SEO becomes easy.

    instead of people spamming blog comments all over the place or buying links for money and winning the competition now we can make socail buzzing in the right approcah and creat relevant links form hot sources.

    most important the web becomes cleaner and spammy SEO companies get kicked out of the field.

    Thank you google, black hats beware…

  • http://www.autoinsuranceuquotesus.com Guest

    i think soo… Google is older thank facebook or twitter and it is very famous..

    Thank you google we love you

  • http://www.verticalmeasures.com Kaila S | Vertical Measures

    If you work in the world of search you likely have seen what Matt talks about here evidenced in the SERPs, so yes it’s not really new news. However, it is good to hear from the ‘horses mouth’ so to speak. Clients are the ones who can truly benefit from this message. If they were on the fence about having a social media campaign before, with this video they likely will see that it is important for search engine marketing and link building as well. It has been my experience with Google that when they outright state a fact such as this that likely they are developing ways to place even more weight on this factor and narrowing down the basics to help them determine what makes a good twitter or facebook link and what makes a bad one. These would be: relevance, strength, and association. Something to watch out for and continue to implement in your Internet marketing and link building campaigns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohdamirhasan mohd amir hasan

    Hello Guys,
    I too Thanks to Google for Caffeine I agree with Duran that “web becomes cleaner and spammy SEO companies get kicked out of the field”.

  • http://www.universitieshandbook.com Swiss Universities Handbook

    Thanks for the information’s

  • http://localhost:7907/wwwroot/outsource/seo-services-india kryptonsoft SEO

    We see lot’s of website raised the use of Tweeter and Facebook to increase the links building, i think now world knows the fact.


  • http://www.mulewagon.com Valerie Davis

    …what he means that “most links from Twitter are no-follow”. Does that mean that Twitter automatically makes posted links no-follow? But then why would it be “most”? How can I tell the difference between a follow and no-follow link in Twitter?

  • http://www.bbgoyal.com goyal

    but i guess it is pretty easy to get links from facebook. i think google should weigh these less.

  • http://www.the-system.org The System

    Nive post but…….Same old stuff from Zippy the pinhead.
    What he fails to tell you is that all the hundreds of sites that surround Twitter where you can post from eg Twitvid etc etc appear in serps . Also Yahoo and Bing ignore the nofollow tag and results appear there and google picks up from those. Profiles not just tweets/ posts etc should be optimized , and these regularly appear in Google serps.

    • http://sorin-frumuseanu.blogspot.com/ sorin frumuseanu

      @The System

      Dont bet. Yahoo Flickr is still using nofollow links. Why?

  • http://www.homebusinessbased.info Dean Esquire

    Yes black hat marketers beware. Social networking sites are allowing for great conversations to be ranked high in the serps and the b.s. spammy sites to become irrelevant.

  • http://www.bestgamblingforum.org Adrian

    I totally agree hopefully there would be less spam out there eventually

  • Frederick

    If this interested you, you can find more information here http://www.joomag.com/

  • http://www.onlinemarketing101.biz Keres?marketing Expert

    From my experience, if the .gov or .edu page is at least a several years old it weighs a lot in your search ranking to receive a link from them. It is also has to be relevant to your niche though.

  • http://affiliategenie.org.uk Affiliate Marketer

    I think Google is using Matt Cutts to mislead webmasters. For years Matt is preaching that getting backlinks from .gov, .edu domain has no advantage. However, google is still considering those backlinks with extra weight!

  • http://www.ronaszegi.com Ronaszegi

    Thank you for sharing this video! I have not been much involved in social media sites for business purposes but seems like, though exact effectiveness is unclear, increasing exposure may be a good idea.

  • Guest

    check this amazing video:

  • http://www.sokobanja.co.cc Sokobanja

    Thanks Matt for information’s

  • http://www.livetrainingsession.com/training/css.html CSS Training Online

    I agree that no site should be given a preferential treatment. The importance of a given site should be determined by the quality of its content, its visitor retention and what the internet community think of it, in other words the quality of its inbound links.

  • http://www.goodsamdental.org Mexico Dentist

    I have wondered how face book links worked and whether it is worth it to put links on there. Now I have a better understanding. Thanks

  • http://www.penyesblaugrana.com Guest


    I have a page in facebook where there are a lot on links pointing to my website

  • http://www.comunicatuweb.com Freddy_SEo

    I guess links from facebook and twitter are always nofollow, so ther aren

  • http://marketnichedefinition.com/imsutra-review-bonus-order/imsutra-review imsutra

    Old news, and people should start paying more attention to yahoo and bing. They are still relevant and won’t go away in the near future.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com/ Official Safety and Security

    I was really hoping that the social site links to my safety and security web site might hold more weight with Google since they’re pretty easy to acquire but I’m not surprised that they don’t. Also, getting those links to .edu and .gov sites can be tricky. Not great news but not bad either. Thanks, Chris, for sharing your insight.

  • Crybabysayswhat

    Spammy blog commenting and buying links is not a thing of the past, turbo. Cool your jets. And quit whining. You sound like a kid that’s been beaten at everything he’s ever done. Sure caffeine changed a few things, 90% was still unnoticeable. There will always be tricks you and your little seo firm can’t figure out, and once again, you’ll get beaten to the top. No need to go waving your victory flag. Haven’t you already envisioned that if social media has any bearing on ranking how much easier it will be to get ranked now? Buy a few thousand tweets from some guy in India for $2, have them post on a delay and auto-update your facebook. Same shit, not even a new platform.

  • http://www.magic-man.com Andrew Edmonds

    At the end of the day just don’t get too serious about where your links are coming from, just keep getting links, whether from facebook, twitter or any where else. Good info, Matt

  • http://www.great-seo.co.uk Sam Langdon

    So the conclusion is that website owners won’t stand to gain any direct ranking advantage from being listed on Twitter and unlikely on Facebook, but only because of the pretty standard measures those websites follow, rather than because of Google applying a bias.

    I’ve just written an article on my blog about why this shouldn’t be seen as a problem: http://www.great-seo.co.uk/how-google-ranks-links-from-social-media-websites/.

  • http://www.conversionpipeline.com Conversion Pipeline

    I think the important thing is what Matt didn’t say. Since Google is treating links from social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter the same as other page ranked websites, this indirectly states the importance of social media and search ranking. Since social media at its core is about companies and people having the “conversation” with their intended audience, Google will recognize the individuals and companies that communicate more, whether thats through social media or other means. The companies that are more involved in social media will get those crucial high page rank backlinks.

  • http://www.hiwaar.com Guest

    ok, they can not be ignred, but they are likt other links

  • http://www.lifeonthenet7.com Charles Kaluwasha

    Many people are linking to .edu websites and have reported ranking high on Google and other search engines. I know of services that provide these links for example pjsqualitybacklinks.com/ and most of them are PR 6 and 7. Can this have any effect on your page ranking?

    Thanks for the info…

  • http://www.cluey.com.au copywriter

    The reality is, with so many ghost writers tweeting away, it’s just not possible to know whether some one liner is a genuine opinion or not.

  • http://sorin-frumuseanu.blogspot.com/ sorin frumuseanu

    Strange :) A good site with quality content without backlinks from FB or Twtitter is a poor one?

  • http://www.wisdia.com Wisdia

    in many cases google count nofollow links too, you can see this in the webmaster tools.

  • http://freemoneycommunity.blogspot.com andy

    i think Google is still prioritize the incoming link from .edu or .gov. Whether it’s do follow or no follow. Because to get some incoming links from this web is rather difficult than from other domain. SO Google give a more value to any webmaster for their effort.

  • http://www.simple-guides.info/ nasrol

    yaya…rank is the key to real visitors :D

  • http://seo-expert-for-hire.blogspot.com/ seo4hire

    A Facebook Page is public so it is good for SEO. Create a Facebook Page using the keywords used for your site. Then send some invites to Facebook user. Facebook has a limit of 15 invites per day though..last time I checked.

  • http://richinwriters.com Steve

    Thanks for the link and also for the youtube video release i always find it funny when people sell this information $97 and up when it’s always been available for free. I usually delete these emails but this one got my attention nice article.

  • http://www.bdrecruitment.com BD Recruitment


    I think we should be pleased about this, because it would be a travesty if more weight was given to Twitter and Facebook links, purely due to the fact that so much drivel emanates from both sites.

    • http://redhotrocket.co.uk Web Design Cheltenham

      I have to agree too, there are so many updates or drivel from some people, facebook updates, for example, are flooding the important information.

  • http://www.mybestassociates.com Teo M Muntean

    There are also other bookmarking sites that are doing well with rating links by Google. However, I do not study this in detail, but wonder if someone knows more web2.0 ttips about getting page rank and a good position on Google SE !?

    One think I’ve realized now is that – for certain keywords – a site similar to Twitter (Cirip.ro) brings me on the first page of Google SE after few minutes of publishing a short message on it. If you know other ways to get Google indexing or page rank, I’d appreciate very your input here.

    Teo M

  • http://www.expatsinspain.co.uk Geoff

    I`m with both Twitter and Facebook, more for talking with others than in the hope of getting backlink value to my sites though.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_hat Pure As The Driven Snow

    It never ceases to amaze me as to how many people treat Matt Cutts like he’s some kind of God. He’s a nice guy & all, but with regards to his tips and advice… one day you sheep might wake up and realise it’s all just a game of smoke and mirrors. Would he lie to you..? Possibly not, he doesn’t have to. Would he actually tell you anything especially usefull beyond a few fundamental basics? – of course not!

    Black hats have nothing more to worry about now than they did before the Caffeine update.

    • Guest

      I Love it when people say it like it is…… I couldn’t agree more with the above, it is all smoke and mirrors…after all let’s look at a simple contradiction…..according to the big G PR was no longer an issue worth thinking about, and yet Mr Cutts, nice fellow that he is…..still talks and refers to it all the time…so Google….to PR or not to PR ? that is the question…..Thanks Google for once again making me laugh. which is about all I can thank you honestly for.

  • http://www.signature.gb.com/ Steve @ Web Design Kent

    For me the key point to get commiunicate here is Google emphasis on “real-time search”. Lets say you we’re looking for information on the recent Haiti disaster on the day it happened. Then Google might rightly look for Tweets and FB updates to find new and current content which is useful end user.

  • http://www.lyndsaycabildo.com Lyndsay Cabildo

    Good to know that they are considering social network links…either way, i still use them because my friends that are more active on social networks will notice my posts…so that helps!

  • http://forfreemoneytoday.blogspot.com/ John

    Thank you ,
    SEO , Backlinks, and everything we are doing just to make google happy and pagerank us

  • http://www.texasdefensivecourse.com mathewsteff

    Yes, be it any kind of links either from social bookmarking or networking sites.. its the similar fashion where in Google PR depends from different sources not only from Social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook but also from Quality links.

  • http://www.guarantysuccess.com Orikinla Osinachi

    I do not think Google has special preferences for Twitter and Facebook.
    What matters most to Google is CONTENT.

    • Guest

      What matters most to Google is…..MONEY! Nothing else, just MONEY and they don’t care how they get it or who they walk all over or how many lies they tell, Content? hahahahaha

      • http://www.realestatepromo.com Ryan Johnson

        In the long term I think that quality content promoted well (white hat style) shores up more money than keyword stuffed junk. Since Bing is coming in with the message that they provide relevant search results indirectly suggesting that Google is a money hungry, reckless money machine, it would behoove of Google to keep honest to their content mantra.

  • http://inchoo.net Toni Anicic

    I must admit I expected Matt will give us something new, but he just repeated stuff we already knew.

  • http://piloseo.com/ Mark Pilatowski

    Social media may indeed be getting more weight in Google, and the fact is that it has been an increasingly important factor for a while. That’s not going to stop people from spamming blogs and forums. The fact is links are still incredibly important and as long as that is the case their will be link spammers out there leaving their mess. As more “SEOs” learn about this, and those that are just learning this are way way behind the times, it just means that social media sites are going to be spammed even more. Let’s face it there are still “SEOs” out there stuffing keyword tags, hiding text, and using crappy techniques that stopped working 10 years ago. These sites are the ones that will be using link spam techniques for years to come.

  • http://www.flowers-page.com Guest

    Thanks for very interesting post!

  • http://www.hiszpanskie-nieruchomosci.pl Ibermaxx

    Good read. In my opinion for instance, regarding the page rank, english language is most “powerful”. I observe my website, some of them do not have english versions, and are treated as less important….i wonder…google is a international toy

  • http://blog.diogomattos.com Diogo Mattos

    Hi dears,
    “Google rates engine” updates has same to all languages options?


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