The recently published blog by Moz "Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings" has stolen the attention of many in the SEO industry including Matt Cutts. Cyrus Shepard, Senior Content Astronaut took the data from Moz's 2013 ranking factors and claimed that Google +1s had direct correlation with high search rankings on Google.
Cyrus brought up a lot of points to prove that the correlation is correct. He pointed out that posts shared on Google+ are most of the times indexed & crawled immediately and posts on the site pass "link equity".
Google's Matt Cutts immediately stepped into the conversation and debunked the claim that there's a correlation between +1s and rankings. Cutts wrote:
"Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let's start with correlation != causation: http://xkcd.com/552/
But it would probably be better to point to this 2011 post (also from SEOMoz/Moz) from two years ago in which a similar claim was made about Facebook shares: http://moz.com/blog/does-google-use-facebook-shares-to-influ… . From that blog post from two years ago: "One of the most interesting findings from our 2011 Ranking Factors analysis was the high correlation between Facebook shares and Google US search position."
This all came to a head at the SMX Advanced search conference in 2011 where Rand Fishkin presented his claims. I did a polite debunk of the idea that Google used Facebook shares in our web ranking at the conference, leading to this section in the 2011 blog post: "Rand pointed out that Google does have some access to Facebook data overall and set up a small-scale test to determine if Google would index content that was solely shared on Facebook. To date, that page has not been indexed, despite having quite a few shares (64 according to the OpenGraph)."
If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn't mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking.
Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content."
So, Matt Cutts has again tried to focus on the importance of creating quality content, which many SEO professionals are doing to get long-term SEO success. It is believed that quality content is mostly shared and is the best strategy for content related SEO.
Cutts still says that there's no relation between rankings and +1s. He said, "Most of the initial discussion on this thread seemed to take from the blog post the idea that more Google +1s led to higher web ranking. I wanted to preemptively tackle that perception".
Cutts was seen making similar statements in the SES San Francisco held last year. He said that Google doesn't weight +1s a lot and advised people not to assume that Google+ connects to rankings.Matt Cutts Denies the Link Between Google+1s and Rankings!,