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1) If an article is retweeted or referenced much in Twitter, do you count that as a signal outside of finding any non-nofollowed links that may naturally result from it?
Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings...
3) Do you calculate whether a link should carry more weight depending on the person who tweets it?
Yes we do use this as a signal, especially in the "Top links" section [of Google Realtime Search]. Author authority is independent of PageRank, but it is currently only used in limited situations in ordinary web search.
didn't get into it, but both have previously said they can associate page title into shared links.
Sounds to me like sharing your article with its exact title could help in assuring that your page ranks instead of scrapers.
-- A nofollow link transfers some AuthorityRank but no PageRank.
-- Mentions of a site name or brand name without a link may also increase AuthorityRank
If a search engine knows that an authority source restricts it's implemented links with no follows , it may also by implication in this context, use this an an endorsement of the authority that it is passing to the recipient site.
Link juice may not be " followed " through , but other ranking factors may be transferred. I can't believe that Google does not consider this contextual data. In fact , with the abuse [ in Google's eyes ] of paid linking , data like this must surely feed into Google's algorithmn as one of the many factors. Any thoughts ? Fact or fiction ? [webmasterworld.com...]
Google would seem to score pages by various methods of association. Don't confuse this with " link juice" , but i continue to believe no follow links or brand domain name usage can be useful. Social media signals may be part of that overall consideration , stronger or weaker I'd have no idea.
When hearing directly from the source , ie Matt Cutts and others , we have to be very careful on the ambiguity surrounding the interpretation which becomes technically confusing. This input looks much more direct and fortunately it's been cross checked between two different search engine personnel.
It's amazing how one search engine can track the others intent. With that understanding , more transparent information should be accessible , in my view , since the other SE acts on it or understands it .
but note that Google did say they take the authority of the posting person into account.
It's also interesting that they do use the "authority" of the person posting as signal. This would, to some degree at least
I've had one instance where tweets helped rank a page of mine.