Software company SEOmoz's acquisition of Twitter analytics company Followerwonk signals the significance of social on search engine optimization. The tool aims to help users analyze followers, locations and tweets to optimize posts, and find connections to people who influence others.
One industry insiders calls the deal "an interesting marriage," since Followerwonk offers technology that SEOmoz founder Rand Fiskin has been looking to implement.
Logged in search engine users will start to see a closer tie to social content across engines, such as Google and Bing.
"I don’t think anyone really knows exactly how trending topics on social sites impact rankings -- however, we've seen strong correlations between organic rankings and social signals, such as likes and shares," said Larry Kim, founder at WordStream. "Whenever we have a new article with a decent amount of social interaction, it seems to catapult the page to the first page of results for keyword searches directly related to the post."
Kim calls trending topics "posts with a ton of social interaction." They tend to do even better in search engine results pages, although correlation isn't causation.
At the Search Engine Strategies conference earlier this week, Google's Matt Cutts said he sees social becoming a bigger signal in the long term, according to reports.
SEOmoz on Thursday released data from HubSpot that correlates social sharing, Twitter tweets and inbound links. The data looks at the relationship between the number of tweets for the URL and the number of incoming links pointing to it. Those receiving tweets averaged more links. Facebook and LinkedIn shares produced similar effects.
HubSpot social media guru Dan Zarrella explains that while "LinkedIn may be the least obvious choice for sharing activity, it is still incredibly important for marketers also interested in SEO performance." The tie between social and LinkedIn produced the strongest relationship.