Matt Cutts has posted another webmaster help video which dispels the myth that Facebook and Twitter “Indicators” affect rankings.
Watch the video.
The key take-home is that pages on Twitter and Facebook are treated exactly like other pages on the web. The myth that Google has been treating Facebook and Twitter differently is most likely from a “cargo cult” style observation i.e. correlation vs causation.
This being said, Facebook and Twitter definitely do have a large impact on the Google search results, even if only indirectly. If something becomes popular on Twitter and Facebook and gets a lot of re-tweet action/likes the chance of a visitor re-broadcasting your message on a different platform increases. If Google is indexing Facebook and Twitter like normal webpages, they are adding value to the site. Simply liking a page and ticking the box and thinking to yourself “ok Facebook – done” is not enough, if there is a lot of activity on Facebook and it leads to your site then there is a high chance that it will lead to some external SEO benefit too.
Note there is no direct mention of Google Plus anywhere – can we take this as confirmation that Google Search is directly using g+ indicators as a ranking metrics 😉