Leading search engines have added social features in the last few years. Now there is talk about using social signals to help determine rank results. The question on everyone’s mind today is, are search engines already using these social signals to determine rankings? Well, it turns out they have been looking at social signals a bit. So, it would not be far off to say that Facebook and Twitter will be used to influence pages and how they rank in web searches.

For those of you who would like to know how data influences regular web searches, you have come to the right place.

Social Search Ranking

Both Bing and Google offer people a way to see results which are shared, written or recommended by friends. This is a different kind of search because it is more personal and it is directly influenced by the people whom the users know. They will be able to see exactly what books their friends are reading, which restaurants they are frequenting and what king of products they are using. It is like getting a personal recommendation from a friend.

Both search engines also offer people a way to see what their friends or networks are sharing real-time on various social networks, be it Twitter or Facebook.

Difference between Social Search and Web Search Ranking

Although they may have some similarities, social search ranking and web search ranking are two completely different things. What happened within these social tools are different from what happens when people do an ordinary web search.  An ordinary web search is when a search engine decide which pages are to be ranked and how they should be ranked from billions of other websites all over the world which are indexed.

Google, for example, uses more than 200 signals which help them determine how to rank pages. Some of the things which they look at are the HTML tag, PageRank and anchor text. There are many other factors and the three we have mentioned are only just examples.

There is one thing which remains unclear though and that is whether social signals are included in the signals. Search engines do not just trust any figure or any website. They have ways of determining if a particular figure can be trusted or not.

Humans vs. Web pages

There are some web pages which are considered more trustworthy than others and there are pages which have better reputation than others.  There are people on the Internet who already have web pages which represent their authority and a good example would be the various social media profiles today such as Twitter and Facebook.

How social media profiles rank

Some people may not see the necessity of creating social media profiles. As a matter of fact, they do not believe that these social media profiles will help but they do, to a certain extent. Take in consideration Twitter. Who you are as a person on Twitter can impact how well your web page does on search results.