As an online marketer or business owner working on creating and establishing an online presence, your website, information, and ultimately sales rely on your ability to be found online. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the method you need to employ to make that happen. Some basic SEO techniques involve creating content using keywords or targeted search words to help your website land close to the top of Google’s organic search ranking pages. Of course, sites like Google take other factors into consideration such as links, search term relevance, and social engagement to name just a few. One major social media avenue that many businesses utilize effectively, but was not indexed for search, is Twitter. For many businesses the immediacy and ease that Twitter provides can be a quick driver of both traffic and conversions/sales, but unfortunately, because the site was not previously indexed, the long-term benefits to SEO did not apply. This all changed in February when Google announced a deal with Twitter to begin indexing tweets for SEO purposes.
The Challenge of Indexing Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular sites on the Internet with 316 million monthly active users who send over 500 million tweets every day. With this volume, the impracticality of Google trying to capture the information as it happens by constantly crawling to identify new tweets (as in a traditional search engine manner) would cripple Twitter. The agreement with Google reached in February allows them to mine data via the API “firehose” (as it’s often called) which gives them access in real time without having to continuously crawl the site. This means Google has access to more data with less work with the end result being more indexed tweets, and a higher SEO value for Twitter.
Tweets Valued By Google
Even with the API access, the shear volume of traffic on Twitter is problematic. As a result, Twitter has worked to make Google’s job easier. By creating hundreds of search-optimized landing pages for the most popular hashtags, Twitter has given Google the ability to index large groups of data easily. It’s important to note that this indexing is for the landing page, not individual tweets.
As this process continues, some interesting observations are coming to light. First, users with the highest follower counts appear to be having more tweets indexed. It appears Google has placed a premium value on authoritative profiles. In addition, it seems that using hashtags and images increases your chances of being indexed.
Inbound links from third party sites to specific tweets also seem to carry weight. Google loves links, and 26% of tweets with an inbound link from sites other than Twitter have been indexed.
How Can You Benefit?
Because of their agreement with Google, Twitter has become a viable platform for increasing your visibility and search indexing opportunities. Early studies show that Google appears to value links to tweets provided they are of high quality and not random. Google also appears to value the same qualities that drive engagement on Twitter including hashtags and images.
When using Twitter for SEO benefits, keep these tips in mind:
- Invest more time and effort on the platform. By continuing to build your twitter presence by adding followers and linking to relevant tweets from third party sites, you can increase the likelihood that your tweets will be indexed and contribute to your SEO rankings.
- Make your tweets engaging for your followers. Use attention grabbing images to get more interactions. It’s also valuable to leverage hashtags. Appropriate use of hashtags can increase visibility, engagement and indexing opportunities.
- Include links and mentions when appropriate. In addition to increasing engagement, they can also boost SEO.
- Consider jump-starting your Twitter engagement using Twitter Ads.The good news is that Google appears to value the same things that drive traffic and engagement on Twitter. Maximizing and optimizing your Twitter account could very well increase your odds of being indexed and provide increased SEO benefits. The takeaway? Focus on driving higher engagement on Twitter, and Google will take notice and likely reward you with higher indexations rates for your tweets.