Twitter Strikes Deal to Show Tweets in Google Search Results

March 12, 2015   //   SEO, , , , ,

Google and Twitter have joined forces in the latest “firehose” deal which gives Google full access to Twitter’s feed, allowing Google to index tweets in real time. If you recall, a similar deal was hatched but then later revoked in 2011, when Twitter took away Google’s access to their feed. Despite limited access, Google has continued to use traditional methods of crawling Twitter content for the past several years – a less than favorable approach due to the sheer volume of tweets published each day (around 500 million), making it impossible for any search engine to capture and index relevant tweets in real time. Now, with access to Twitter’s API, also known as “firehose,” Google can once again index tweets as they happen without crippling the social channel with too many requests.

The two companies have yet to provide much more information for what to expect, other than a launch date sometime during the first half of 2015. But that doesn’t mean a frenzy of speculation and excitement hasn’t already erupted around the topic of social media and its future impact on the search engine results page (SERP) and search engine optimization (SEO). Read my blog to learn more about what to expect from searchable tweets in the near future.

What Does Google and Twitter Get Out of the Deal?

Before we jump into how this impacts your business, it’s important to first understand why the world’s largest search engine and the one of the largest sources of breaking news have decided to come together. Last year, Twitter created indexable landing pages for their top 50,000 hashtagged pages that Google and other search engines could crawl and index. So it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Twitter is continuing to grow its relationship with the search engines by providing Google even more indexable content. The more tweets that appear in the search results, the greater opportunity Twitter has to grow their audience and hopefully steal attention away from the other channels. Google, in turn, gets real-time relevance from more than 500,000 tweets per day without having to wait for a breaking story to gain relevance across the Web first. Now, Google can index tweets as they’re happening and gain an edge over other search engines who can’t keep up with as much timely content. Not to mention, it is very possible that data associated with a tweet might help Google better tailor content and messages to their users.

What Does My Business Get Out of the Deal?

While it’s obvious that this recent partnership is mutually beneficial to Google and Twitter, what’s in it for us? If a tweet that goes out this morning could appear in Google’s search results that same day, we now have yet another opportunity to increase our brand’s presence in Google’s SERP by increasing our Twitter activity. It also means that, perhaps, one of the fastest ways to get timely promotions and content indexed by Google is to share them on Twitter in conjunction with updating your website.

The impact that this new partnership will have on the overall ranking of your brand is still TBD, however it punctuates the importance of social media to your search marketing efforts as a whole and further asserts the role social plays in the modern landscape of SEO. The general consensus among SEOs is that there is no denying a correlation between social media and better rankings (note: correlation is not the same as causation). A good social media strategy relies heavily on a good content strategy, which should rely heavily on SEO. In other words, good content tends to be shared, and good content also tends to rank well.

Start Doing This Right Now…

Once Google and Twitter’s new “firehose” deal takes effect, don’t expect every tweet you push into the Twittersphere to go directly to the top of Google’s search engine results page – this would create disastrous results for the search engines and the people who use them. Instead, Google will have to create a method for determining which tweets deserve a place in the SERPs. Since Google values the same things people do, it makes sense that a tweet with higher engagement (retweets and favorites) will be more likely to show up than a tweet that receives little to no attention from fans. Therefore, investing more time in improving your Twitter engagement and amplification is an obvious first step in leveraging Google’s new Twitter deal.

How to Increase Engagement on Twitter

  • Quality content: Share content that people will want to retweet and favorite
  • Images: Studies show high impact images get better engagement
  • Hashtags: Increase visibility with hashtags
  • Length: Longer tweets tend to have higher engagement. You have 140 characters – use them!
  • Links: Include links when it’s appropriate. Always link to authoritative sites that provide value to your fans.
  • Frequency: The more active you are on Twitter, the more likely you are to make connections and gain new followers
  • Analysis: The more you Tweet and track your engagement, the better you’ll understand what type of content resonates with your unique audience

As the indexing of tweets takes effect in the coming months, we may discover other ways to optimize Twitter for Google SERPs. Until then, preparing for the shift by investing more time in Twitter engagement is a wise move. If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing and how to leverage this platform for SEO, please contact SWC or attend our next Chicagoland Digital Marketing event.

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