Many of you know that I have been working for a long time on a study to attempt to directly measure the impact of Google+ Shares on Google‚Äôs search rankings. This study has attempted to measure ‚Äúcausation‚ÄĚ, not ‚Äúcorrelation‚ÄĚ ‚Äď i.e. to see if we could prove some impact on rankings from Google+ shares. This article presents the results of that work.
This edition of the study was launched at SMX Advanced where I presented results I had from an earlier study we had done that convinced me that links in shares from Google Plus and Facebook behave like traditional web based links. This was later disputed by Matt Cutts in his keynote interview by Danny Sullivan, leading to a live discussion with me on stage
The brief discussion we had led to my agreeing that I would rerun the study that we had done with some guidance from Matt on potential problems. While this input was limited in nature, it did lead to some ideas on how to improve the testing.