Back in 2011, Google issued a statement saying that Facebook Likes had no effect on SERPs positions and, according to a recent Twitter post from Gary Illyes, this statement still holds true today, in 2017.
The Twitter exchange reads as follows:
Lord of SEO @lordofseo
“@methode I have way more Facebook likes than the next competitor why no rank higher?”
To which Gary replied;
“@lordofseo cos we don’t use Facebook likes to rank pages?”
So why doesn’t Google accept Facebook Likes as a ranking signal?
Well, there are couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, data such as Facebook Likes can be relatively easy to manipulate. Simply set up a few fake accounts, and then use these to “Like” a post or page you have published and you can see how easy it would be to push this page further up the rankings artificially.
Secondly, information such as Facebook Likes can also be blocked from being accessed by Google, particularly when a user has set up privacy restrictions that hide posts and liked pages from users who they wish to exclude from their circles – which has the knock-on effect of hiding a shared post from the search spiders.