Google’s Matt Cutts: Once Again, +1s Have No Direct Impact On Rankings

googleplusGoogle’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said once again that Google’s +1 data has no direct impact on their web search ranking algorithm.

Moz published a story today named Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings in which Matt Cutts responded to in Hacker News thread saying, “correlation != causation.”

He said that he is looking for the “politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings.”

Matt then added, he debunked a similar correlation study done by Moz on Facebook likes influencing Google rankings.

In short, Matt says it isn’t surprising content with more likes or +1s have better rankings. Matt explains, “If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc.”

“But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking,” Cutts add. Matt advises, “rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.”

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Aaron Hemmelgarn

    Hi Ricky, he mentioned about the press releases in one of his video’s a few weeks back. He explained that people are manipulating press releases with links and basically spamming content. The one way that a press release was good is that if it was written well, then it will be shared and it will raise the traffic to the site and they do watch traffic as a measure. So while he said that press releases have no direct PR impact on your rankings, they do have usefulness in driving traffic to a site.

    So don’t use them to count as an inbound link, but rather awareness and traffic.

  • Aaron Hemmelgarn

    Google is going to say anything to keep people from manipulating the system. +1 have shown a correlation to increased traffic and thus, increased rankings. You can bet they also measure how long a person is on a post/article to when they +1 it. This means that the viewed read the article and post and didn’t just hit +1.

    I would be curious to see correlation of +1 with a large amount of comments (social action) and ones that didn’t. There’s a lot of data here to measure and you can bet Google is analyzing all of it and how they can use it.

  • Duncan Colman

    Not being funny but Cutts is hardly going to say “get loads of +1s and your rankings will soar for exact match terms such as ‘viagra’ and ‘car insurance.” Social, social, social all the way.

  • rickyleepotts

    That is why I use them! The goal for most, if not all of the press releases that I post, are for both awareness and traffic. More awareness than anything. We are on the same page here! Thank you for your response, Aaron.

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