Google, the Twitter Firehose and What that Means for SEO
February 12, 2015
If you were a site that was able to generate an enormous amount of content from the user base, while constantly growing that user base, wouldn’t you want to stay visible all the time?
Twitter users have been logging out. The micro-blogging social giant we’ve all come to use and love has seen slow growth recently (shares are up by only 1.3%) and with this comes a concern for bleeding away users who don’t return to the site.
When there’s no way out, what’s a company to do? Three years ago, Twitter didn’t renew a deal with Google. A deal that would have allowed the search giant crawl access into Twitter’s hashtag pages for top tweets to return on search queries.
Turns out, that’s exactly what needed to happen this whole time. Bloomberg Business reported on February 5th that Twitter and Google are getting ready to enter into a deal that will restore their old relationship.
According to Trevor O’Brien, the director of product management at Twitter, the company had implemented a change earlier this year to let Google search through its pages again, and the results were nothing short of phenomenal. That’s exactly what I’d call a ten-fold increase in the number of “logged-out” users coming back to the site, especially when that number looks a lot like 75 million.
Not bad for a day’s work.
Of course, the real goal is to have all the logged out users return to the social networking site, reclaim their existing accounts and begin using them again.
Read more: Report: Google Will Get Access To Twitter’s Firehose Again
But what does this say about SEO?
Personally, we love any story that negates the dramatic gloom-and-doom “death of SEO” mania that goes around the Internet every once in a while. Despite all the apocalyptic drama, clearly SEO isn’t going anywhere.
What we ARE looking at is a stronger relationship being established between Search and Social. If the Firehose access goes as planned, Google will be returning a lot more Tweet in search queries.
Let’s say you hear about a trending hashtag that you’ve completely missed because you were off Twitter for a few hours.
I did a quick search for #AskFluffy, a Q&A with comedian Gabriel Iglesias (@fluffyguy) that was trending on Twitter for a couple of hours.
Here’s what I found.
The first result returned from Google points to the #askfluffy hashtag page created on Twitter and the next four results are sites that point back to the trending hashtag’s page.
So, clearly two things are quite evident right now.
- In due time, tweets from users will be visible in search results.
- We’re probably not going to see a strong effect on rankings because tweets may not equate to instant website traffic. Twitter handles, yet. Websites, not so much right now.
Still, it’s early days yet, and even the industry has been pretty quiet about sharing their insights and projections into this deal. It’ll be worth our while to watch this development closely and see what fruit it bears.
How do you think this change will impact the search industry?
Riding On the Horse Of Hashtag in Social Media Marketing
Twitter’s Latest Tweets: Audience Segmentation and a Refreshed Website