Over a year ago news broke that retweets on Twitter can actually influence ranking in Google’s search engine. This is something I concluded about 3 months before it became public, and I’ve recently noticed something else that’s quite interesting.
After testing a few theories over the past month, I’ve found that retweets not only affect search engine rankings, but also PageRank. Articles with tons of retweets build a higher PageRank than articles with a small number of retweets, and they build PageRank much faster.
For example, let’s take a look at the social media category of this blog and compare 3 recent posts:
1) Twitter Mistake: Not Checking Links Before Sharing
2) WordPress Tip: Never Show Categories in Permalinks
3) The Twitter Follower and Facebook Like Facade
What’s interesting is that article #1 was posted over a week after the other two, yet it already has a PageRank of 4. One would think it has more backlinks than the others, hence the higher PageRank, but that’s not the case. Also, since it’s in the same category as the other posts, there’s no reason for it to disproportionately gain more PageRank (internally speaking). And best of all, of the 3 articles it’s the only one with over 100 retweets.
I’ve tested this same theory on a few blogs and it looks like retweets do in fact influence PageRank. I’ve been wrong many times before, just not any time I can remember.
From an SEO perspective, being able to build PageRank by delivering helpful, interesting content is pretty awesome. But keep in mind that having a high PageRank doesn’t necessarily equate to more traffic and conversions, though theoretically speaking it could.