How Klout and Social Signals are Affecting Search Results
In late 2010, Danny Sullivan interviewed representatives from Google and Bing about how they use social data from Twitter and Facebook. And while this article does seem a bit dated, it sets the stage for how social signals affect search results.
One of the questions that Danny asked had to do with how Twitter links are weighted:
Google responded with, “Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article.”
Bing responded with, “We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results.”
The article goes on to describe how Google and Bing weight links based on social signals.
What Do These Social Signals Mean to You?
In short, this means social media is not only a way for you to interact with others and be entertained, but is also a way for you to get real results such as increased search engine rankings. Also, since Google and Bing are taking into account the social authority of a user, which includes social signals such as the number of follows someone has, you should begin to pay attention to your Klout.
What is Klout, you ask? Well, it is a measurement of your social influence across the web. And while there is more than one way to measure social influence, such as Followerwonk, Klout is by far the most popular.
As a matter of fact, Klout is so important that its new program called “Klout Experts” will begin showing up as the lead items in Bing search results. You can see an example of how Klout Experts shows up in search results below (image from a Klout blog post):
How to Raise Your Klout Score
By now, you are likely wondering how you can increase your Klout score, which is just one social signal that can affect your search results.
According to an article by Klout, Klout scores are currently based on more than 400 signals from eight different networks. And while the process that Klout uses to determine your social authority score is proprietary, Klout has released this list of actions that they track on your social networks.
- Facebook - Likes, comments, wall posts, and friends.
- Twitter - Followers, retweets, mentions, and list memberships.
- Instagram - Followers, likes, comments, and photographs submitted.
- Google+ - Comments, +1s, and reshares.
- LinkedIn - Connections, recommendations, and comments.
- Foursquare - Tips saved by other, tips liked by others, friends, check-ins, likes, mayorships.
- Wikipedia - Inlinks, ratio of inlinks to outlinks, PageRank.
- Klout - +K received from others and questions answered.
To increase your Klout score, I would recommend that you connect all of your social networks to Klout and focus on increasing any actions on the list above.
What Do You Think?
What social signals do you monitor for your personal accounts? Are you currently using any tools such as Klout or Followerwonk to gauge your social authority as well the authority of those you interact with?
Please leave a comment below. I’m interested to hear your unique take on how you manage social networking.
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