Months back, Twitter and Google signed an agreement, which allows Google bots access to Twitter’s Tweets. Simply put, this means Tweets will now show up in Google’s search engine results. For search engine optimization, this deal is important because Twitter will now have a greater impact on SEO. This means those of us who already use this platform should pay attention to optimizing their profiles.
Link building is still one of the most important factors to get your content long-term exposure. According to Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s search quality senior strategist, the three most important ranking factors are:
1&2: Links and Content, 3: RankBrain
With that being said, many questions arise. Which Tweets will show up? What are the main indexes that Google maintains? How can you optimize your Twitter account?
First, let’s look at some important points of the Google-Twitter deal:
On Wednesday evening, 4th of February, Twitter made an agreement with Google to let its Tweets appear on search results. Later, on 19th of May, Google was given full access to Twitter feeds. Also called ‘Firehose’. Since this wasn’t the first deal between the two companies, people were really interested to know how this deal is different from the previous one.
Twitter is a great place to share news and information. Real-time information appearing on search results might prove to be extremely beneficial for businesses and people alike. So if you search for your favorite celeb on Twitter now, their most recent Tweets will come up. Same is the case with any business that owns a Twitter account.
How does Google index Twitter?
Stone Temple Consulting ran a study which analyzed how Google is indexing Tweets, both before and after the deal. Data was recorded from February to June, and Stone Temple found that Google was indexing about 3.4% of all Tweets. So what happens to the remainder 96% Tweets? How does one use this information to optimize SEO?
350,000 Tweets per minute:
With 350,000 Tweets being published every minute, Google becomes very selective in choosing only the best content that goes to search results. Stone Temple’s CEO also assumes that Google doesn’t have the resources to index every single Tweet that goes live. It all comes down to this: Twitter fame has a direct impact on Google indexation.
Let’s say, if you search for ‘Beyonce’, every Tweet posted from her account recently will show, or Tweets that were seen the most will appear. That means her social authority is high. The secret to Google indexing is to have better social authority and high visibility than average Twitter users.
So, if your business wants to make it to the Google indexes through Twitter, try to gain a higher social authority on on the social site and be seen with quality content in the search results.
Here’s what you can do to improve your social authority and visibility:
Your brand name is what distinguishes you from a common Twitter user. The name is what appears next to the profile, so choose it wisely. The Twitter handle is what comes next to the name, represented by ‘@brand’. Be sure to pick a handle that is closest to your campaign and unique to a first-timer. Your handle becomes a part of your customized Twitter URL as well, like twitter.com/brand. It creates a static address for future search indexing. You can also search which variation of your brand name has the highest search-ability, and then choose the best one.
Your Twitter bio is a 160-character space in which you can introduce your brand. Make sure to optimize it well and add mission-specific phrases that define your brand. The Twitter bio is constantly indexed, so use that space wisely to promote more in less space. There is also space to insert two links in the bio, one in the website slot and another in the bio slot. Put your website link in there and make sure that link points out to a relevant page that gets you more conversions.
With Google now showing Tweets in search results, your links may gain a wider visibility. Despite these links being no-follow, you can still gain more viewership. To make your links look more credible, accompany them with proper researched keywords that explain a link. You can post those links a couple of times to maximize visibility.
Hashtags are a Twitter feature which works like metadata for your Tweets. Hashtags are immensely helpful in organizing and managing Tweets. You can also find trending hashtags on Twitter and optimize your Tweets according to popular hashtags so that a large audience can find your brand.
Hashtags improve search-ability and help people find you. You can make your own hashtags and get help from key influencers to promote them. You can promote them with money as well, so your Tweet will appear on a specific audience’s feed.
Retweeting other people’s Tweets, replying to people and engaging with people is what makes you gain higher visibility. Walmart always makes sure it replies to people’s queries on Twitter. Uber provides 24/7 support to people via Twitter.
Some brands also ask users to DM (direct message) their queries to handle them more effectively. The point is to be open and helpful. Refrain from posting everything from your website to Twitter, because it may seem like spam. Craft a Twitter strategy that schedules content to be posted when it is the best time of the day for that specific piece of content.
Make sure you create a Twitter button by going to settings and using it wherever your online presence is. If you are writing an email, add your Twitter button in the signature. Add it on your website and promote it on other social media platforms.
Don’t make a single strategy for all social media accounts, because every platform requires a different one. Google bots notice the impressions a Tweet makes. If you engage with people and produce quality content, chances are that your account will be indexed.
Keep in mind that optimizing your Twitter account also means optimizing your search results. By succeeding in that, you will be able to maintain a bigger and better network, and convert more people into customers.
If you have any tips to add about how Twitter affects SEO, mention them in the comments below.
Moosa Hemani stands out for many reasons, but one is simply for his exceptional desire to contribute to the SEO community through his writing and participation in social media. You would be hard pressed to find a highly-visible SEO site that he has not contributed to in way. He is also a truly nice guy, which always impresses me. There’s no ego, but there is confidence. I’d be honoured to have the chance to work with Moosa.