Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, recently declared that Google’s +1 data has no direct impact on its search ranking algorithm. Does this mean that all the social media work you’ve done isn’t helping your SEO after all? In short, no.
Look closely at Cutts’ statement. The key word there is “direct.” So while the act of someone clicking the +1 via the share widget on your latest blog post may not (allegedly) help its rank, the results of that +1 click do help. For example, after the reader +1s your post, the blog’s link appears in that person’s +1s in their Google+ account.
This is now a backlink to the blog post and as we all know, backlinks are an important variable in search rankings.
Cutts also stated that Facebook “likes” have no direct impact. Perhaps, but if someone likes your blog post, the chances that they share it in other ways is higher than that of a post they don’t like. Again, this leads to more backlinks and positive signals to Google.
Someone +1-ing and liking also alerts more people to your blog post, leading to more traffic and time spent on it – both metrics that Google uses in search ranks.
So keep up the sharing across Google+, Facebook and all those other social platforms. Your SEO will (directly!) thank you.