The importance of Social Signals
A quick history of ranking on Google.
When people think of ranking their website on Google (I'll be using the Big G as the main example here since it's the most widely used search engine), two things spring to mind;
1) Creating rich content with your appropriate keywords without going down the route of keyword stuffing which would totally ruin the page rank of your site and therefore it's position on Google.
2) Creating diversive backlinks using a combination of follow and do not follow links. These are usually posted on forums, articles such as this and also just simply on YouTube descriptions.
The purpose of the two is to make your website seem extremely popular to Google so it'll rise in the rankings. This normally goes hand in hand with the website visitors which come in due to these links being created. However, in recent years there's been a massive spike in people using social netowrking sites which handily takes us onto social signals.
What are social signals?
A social signal is a piece of information regarding your website (or HubPages article) that is logged on a social network. Everytime someone likes a link you've posted on Facebook, or they share it, that's classed as a social signal. The same is true for Twitter and also Pinterest.
If you have a look at the top of your Hubs on here, you'll see that there's buttons for Facebook, Twitter and also Pinterest.
Every time your information is shared via those buttons on the respective sites, it results in the count increasing and immediately creating a high page rank backlink to your Hub. Of course, people can share your Hub directly on their social network of choice too which will also create high PR backlinks, The great thing with using social signals is that every time someone creates one, not only is it raising your online presence to Google, it's also showing off your site/page to other people.
The benefit of this is that you've got immediate exposure to your site which can strongly help to get you a large amount of visitors depending on how the information is shared.
A key player recently has been Google+. Whilst one of the lead engineers at Google has himself said that +1's on Google+ don't seriously help ranking, indepdent results have proven otherwise.
Indeed, it's believed that the engineer in question was deflecting the ranking abilities of Google+ to your website to prevent scammers and spammers from wrecking the social network. However, think of it this way; when a video is shared on YouTube and it gets a large amount of views it can supersede a website on the first page of Google with billions of visitors. The factor to remember here is that Google owns YouTube and therefore they're going to push their own product and with give it a great weighting in the search engines.
With regards to +1's, the greater the number of these your site has, the more lucrative your site will appear to Google and thus there's a strong possibility your site can outrank other ones that do no have such a high level of +1's. Of course, as with any SEO campaign, all social networks should be utilised to realise your full potential online.
Sadly, HubPages doesn't have a +1 button for peoples Hubs. If you'd like help in getting some +1's, please contact me via HubPages and I'll see what I can do to help. I'm very much of the opinion that we should all be helping each other to promote our articles on here to make as much money as possible. If you've enjoyed this Hub, please feel free to share it via Pinterest, Facebook and also Twitter using the buttons above.
Thanks for reading!