Do "social signals" as we think of them have a direct effect on rankings...Yes Is Google telling the truth they don't use social signals....Yes So here is my theory... I've done a lot of twitter stuff recently. Once of my websites I was promoting had zero links and only three pages. I build it then moved on to something else for a few months (it had settled by then) then went back to it and promoted it on twitter. A few days later it started to rise in the SERP then I stopped promoting it for reasons I wont go into and it dropped back down. So here is what I think happens...Google doesn't take notice of the signal itself e.g the tweet with the link in it, or the facebook share at all. However it does take notice of the traffic that link generates. We know it can accurately track these traffic sources because it shows us in Google Analytics. So if it sees some traffic from facebook it can check its genuine using Analytics then give a boost up the SERPs. This would explain the following 1. How people can rank with social signals but google denies it looks at the "signals" 2. Why real shares rank you and fake shares don't, fake shares don't generate traffic Could this be right? What say you?