It’s been almost 4 years since Google has provided real-time tweets in their search results. Google and Twitter recently announced they had reached an agreement that will grant Google access to Twitter’s stream of data generated by over 284 million microbloggers. This data stream is also being referred to as the fire hose.
In the coming months, tweets will start to show up in Google’s search results in real-time. This is not to say Google doesn’t index and show tweets in their search results now—they do, but only a very small fraction of what is on Twitter. Maybe 7% of tweets are currently on Google, which is made up of tweets from people with higher than average followings. Since the original agreement between Google and Twitter expired in 2011 Google has had to crawl Twitter’s site for information, which caused only a small portion of the tweets to be indexed by Google. Once the “fire hose” is turned on, new tweets will be visible immediately.
What does this deal mean for Twitter?
Twitter is now in the digital advertising game. This deal will help Twitter leverage the billions of searches happening everyday on Google, driving more visitors to Twitter and driving up their advertising revenue. Twitter will now be able to reach and convert non-Twitter users through Google. Twitter users who are not logged in to the network will see tweets just from searching Google, which will drive further traffic into Twitter.
What does this deal mean for Google?
The user experience on Google will be enhanced by search results with a much broader amount of content. The real-time tweets will allow for users to gain access to news as it is happening, trending topics, and public sentiment.
Google has not released any details on their plans for dealing with spam. But, knowing how protective Google is of their search ecosystem, they will for sure implement serious anti-spam and penalization policies for those who attempt to cheat the system and corrupt their environment.
While the real-time Twitter feeds will certainly change what users see in their Google SERPs, don’t expect anything too drastic. Google will remain conservative in what they show in their results, so anything that seems the slightest bit shady will most likely never be included.
So how does a marketer leverage this new opportunity?
Similar to organic SEO and Google, following best practices regarding Twitter engagement will only improve your results. While most social media marketers are already managing Twitter accounts, gearing up for the new Twitter-Google partnership is a perfect time to take a close look improving the strategy to increase overall performance.
Here are four steps to help you prepare and get the most out of Twitter posts in Google search results:
In order to be effective in both SEO and Social Media, you must first have your content strategy figured out. Plan out content that people will want to re-tweet and favorite. Frequently posting content that is relevant, interesting and helpful for your target audience is the key to a successful content marketing strategy.
2. Twitter Plan:
Plan your Twitter strategy with an objective of maximizing engagement so you are sending out signals to Google that your tweeted content is valuable. To ensure a consistent level of quality, take the time to develop a tweeting plan that increases your chances of engagement by including hashtags, short links, eye-catching images and attention grabbing copy that utilizes most of the allotted 140 characters.
It is important to build relationships with key influencers in your industry and get them to retweet your content. Not only does this expose your content to a wider, more relevant audience, which will lead to more links to your content, but Google will pay more attention to content from influencers with a lot of followers. So, even if your direct tweets are not picked up in a search, your content could still show up in a Google search as someone else’s retweet. So follow key influencers and ask for re-tweets!
4. Monitor for Success:
Since the verdict is still out on the true benefit of social media to organic SEO, keep track of all progress as you focus on your Twitter strategy. Determine a timeframe, maybe 60 to 90 days, set a start date and note the status of all relevant social media metrics, such as followers, retweets and favorites as well as SEO data such as ranking for specific keywords, inbound links, traffic source and conversions.
Since this partnership will be a new initiative for both Google and Twitter, it will be interesting to see the synergy between the two platforms. Similar to SEO and Google, following best practices regarding Twitter engagement will only improve your results. So get moving on your Twitter initiative now so you are in full swing when Google starts drinking from the fire hose!
If you’re interested in reading more about social media marketing, learn how your social media profiles are the perfect tool for reputation management and customer service.