Google favors Facebook shares, ‘likes,’ and comments more than keywords

Top keywords take a back seat to tweets and Facebook endorsements when it comes to Google search results, new research reveals.

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There’s a new search sheriff in town.

In the aftermath of the Panda/Penguin search algorithms, social shares are now more important than keywords. The data prove it. In a recent comprehensive study of U.K. Google ranking factors by search analytics firm Searchmetrics, this was one of the key takeaways.

The study collected data this past February and March using 10,000 top keywords, 300,000 websites, and millions of links, shares, and tweets. The ranking sites’ content included: 248,603,582 Facebook comments, 2 billion shares, and 7 billion likes. The goal was simple: Which factors are relevant today for a prime ranking in Google search results?

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