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We've recently had our website tweeted by a couple of bigish media outlets 0.5m+ followers, some of the links are our direct url, and some are t.co urls.

From an seo point of view a link on their site would have been preferable, but i was wandering if even though the links are nofollowed, does google give weight to links from twitter accounts with high social clout, as i know they have fire hose access to the twitter api ?

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Google is pretty vague when it comes to answering questions about Social Media and no one knows exactly how Google uses Twitter or any other social media platform in rankings but what has been confirmed is that Google does use social media signals and things that go viral on social media and get a buzz is often discovered by Google very quickly.

I would say that Google does not count them as Backlinks but adds authority and trust-ability to your site. The reason I say this is that within Google Webmaster Tools you only see one backlink and that is often from your profile and not from retweets or just tweets in general. This isn't to say they are not counted because its not confirmed they are or not counted, but based on what we can see as I said its unlikely.

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I am getting t.co, twitter.com and tons of other backlink sources popping up in my webmaster tools which were only published on twitter.com. perhaps these backlinks are counted from within twitter aggregating sites? –  DKOATED Apr 26 '13 at 9:23
    
Not sure that's weird that you got them within GWT, since I have a few thousand retweets which uses the twitter shortner and I know these are 301 which pass juice but none have ever showed in GWT, only the actual page. –  bybe Apr 26 '13 at 11:39

According to Matt Cutt(Head of Webspam and SEO) yeah they count Social media backlink like from facebook and Twitter. they announced in 2010 that they do not but according to latest video on youtube [Does Google use data from social sites in ranking?1 he explained about this and maing sure they are having large followers and content are not auto generated.

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Be careful with old information. Search engine algos have change a lot over the years- especially in the past two. I generally throw away anything over 2 years old. The video and Matt quote is deemed suspect these days. –  closetnoc Jul 23 at 2:42

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