Dovetailing beautifully off my prior post on social media and Google, Danny Sullivan delivers a fantastic report on how Google and Bing are incorporating Facebook and Twitter linkage into their search results. The closing graphs say it all:
In the end, it’s clear that Twitter data especially plays a role in web search, these days. Who you are is being understood. Are you a trusted authority or not? If there’s PageRank for pages, both search engines have a form of TwitterRank for people.
Meanwhile, retweets serve as a new form a link building. Get your page mentioned in tweets by authoritative people, and that can help your ranking in regular search results, to a degree.
If you want to get traction online, social media engagement is mandatory, not optional.