In Social Signals We Trust

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Search engines shape results based in part on “social signals”—recommendations we make online. Learn what content works for social search.

”Search has gotten personal. Google and Bing (and others) now shape results based in part on “social signals”—all those interactions and things we do online, especially the recommendations we make. If the signals are flashing to and from our networks, Google and Bing’s latest search algorithms tag them as trustworthy.

And that’s a big switcheroo from how search engines previously established trust—by counting up how many sites linked to you, and of those, which had high authority. A link from the New York Times food section to your cooking blog could have meant a book deal. Think Julie and Julia to understand the importance of backlinks back then.

Now think about how many times a day you Like, tweet, or share a link, or check out what your friends are liking, tweeting, and so on. Search engines tally those thousands of mini-recommendations as votes for which sites or people to trust. A human thumbs-up is, after all, a better measure of authority than a hyperlink”.

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