Once Again, it is about the links, not the tweets…
SEOMoz has posted another piece of anecdotal evidence linking tweets to rankings that must be taken with a grain of salt. I hate to continue to harp on this issue because I am still a big fan of SEOMoz, but the reality is that a tweet generating links is not a social signal.
The issue in question was that smashingmagazine.com tweeted out a recommendation for SEOMoz’s excellent beginner’s guide to SEO. I highly recommend you check it out. After the tweet, their guide shot to the front page for the keyword “Beginner’s Guide”. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to jump to the conclusion that the retweets and social weight of smashing magazine’s twitter profile were responsible for the jump.
What is the more likely culprit? A sitewide link from Smashing Magazine and Twitter Feeds syndicating the links on their own sites.
You see, Smashing Magazine keeps it’s twitter feed live on the side bar. Any of their latest tweets are included on nearly EVERY page of their 8700 page PR6 site.
More importantly, over 200 sites are STILL linking as of today to that bit.ly link because of syndicating their twitter feeds, follows or retweets on their own sites.
So, what is the take home? Twitter can be a great viral source for links NOT Google Rankings are significantly affected by the twitter social graph