As someone with a vested interest in SEO tactics, I’m always interested in what the official word is from the biggest players on the scene. Namely, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo. Every so often their officials put information out there that especially catches my attention.
I like the way linking works. It fascinates me that linking can help to build your ranking on Google. As much as I try to wrap my brain around it, there is always another caveat and always something new to learn about this technique. It’s a little like editing the English language: just when you think you have all of the exceptions and rules figured out, something else crops up to dig into and to consider. Basically, I like it because I learn something new all the time and there is always a curve ball somewhere. Not everyone finds these sorts of things entertaining, but suffice it to say that those of us who do are incredibly entertained by Google and linking.
Here is Matt Cutts from Google, answering the question: “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?”
Chris Crum covers this video in his article “How Google Rates Links from Facebook and Twitter”, and he and Matt both basically tell us that Facebook and Twitter links are ranked the same way as every other link out there. Matt Cutts goes so far as to pointedly say that Google’s search criteria does not discriminate based on platform. A link is a link is a link in the world of Google searches.
This claim does have a bit of a caveat to it (it’s those exceptions that tickle me so much) in that Facebook pages can have private settings. When a Facebook page is not public, Google cannot crawl it or rank it. And most links on Twitter are nofollowed anyway, which changes their interaction with Google.
So, if you thought that a .ed or a .gov website would carry more weight in the rankings, you’ve now been reassured straight our of the mouths of Goggle that their search techniques just don’t work that way.