Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released a video today answering the question, “are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm?” The short answer was no.
Matt said that Google does not give any special treatment to Facebook or Twitter pages. They are in fact, currently, treated like any other page, according to Matt Cutts.
Matt then answered if Google does special crawling or indexing for these sites, such as indexing the number of likes or tweets a specific page has. Matt said Google does not do that right now. Why?
They have at one point and they were blocked. I believe Matt was referring to Google’s real time search deal expiring with Twitter. Matt explained that they put a lot of engineering time into it and then they were blocked and that work and effort was no longer useful. So for Google to put more engineering time into this and then be blocked again, it just doesn’t pay.
Another reason, Google is worried about crawling identity information at one point and then that information changes but Google doesn’t see the update until much later. Having outdated information can be harmful to some people.
However, Matt does add that he does see Google crawling, indexing and understanding more about identities on the web in the long term. He used our Danny Sullivan as an example, when Danny writes a story here, the site is authoritative, so it ranks well. But if Danny posts a comment on a forum or on Twitter, it would be useful for Google to know that an authority posted on a specific site and thus it should have more ranking weight in Google.
While Google doesn’t do this now, we know they are indeed working on a solution for this.
Here is the video: