Business owners depending on SEO, have you heard? Google and Twitter are teaming up again, four years after they parted ways. Soon, SEO strategists will start seeing tweets displayed in real time on Google’s search results pages.
Google indexed Twitter data until 2011 when their deal fell through and they no longer had access to the Twitter Firehose – the aptly named torrent of data that comes from its estimated 228 million active monthly users.
Google has been tiptoeing around social signals for some time even launching its own social platform (Google+) to try and conquer the social realm secured steadfastly by Facebook and Twitter – and in some densely populated areas of the world, Sina Weibo.
But this new deal is beyond just subtle social signal integration. It’s a full-on merger.
For SEO experts who fondly remember the days when Tweets and Twitter profiles could be searched on Google, they probably found some value to it back then. Right now, however, post-panda, penguin, and hummingbird, what does this deal mean for SEO?
SEO Experts Ask: How will Google Integrate Twitter into SERPs?
One of the most important facets to consider, especially in terms of SEO, is how does Google intend to integrate Twitter into its SERPs?
Google already has access to signals, outside of the Twitter Firehose, such as when external websites link to tweets or Twitter handles. So, what else happens inside Twittersphere that Google might want to dig deeper into?
Tweet and Twitter handle statistics would be the first choice. Google can begin with Twitter metrics such as the number of times a tweet has been retweeted, favorited, or replied to, and also the number of a Twitter handle’s followers and mentions.
This means SEO experts will need to spend more time on Twitter to grow their following and increase their engagement metrics. Think of Twitter gaining an internal niche of “link building” – though when you think about it, it already has something like that in the form of brands trying their best to tweet relevant content and gain more followers, often failing miserably at monetizing the efforts.
As Google enters the scene, however, suddenly all the seemingly wasted efforts of brands seem a bit more fruitful, especially if the impact of their campaigns extend beyond Twitter and into SERPs.
So, What Will The SEO Future Look Like?
There are still a few things Google could do to spice things to the delight of SEO experts.
Would it be possible to integrate Twitter ads and promoted tweets and accounts into SERPs? Probably not without crossing the boundaries of organic and paid search. How about Adwords or Adsense? If that’s an option, it probably won’t come anytime soon.
How do hashtags come into the equation? After all, Google+ uses them too. Could we see a merger of hashtag conversations in the future? How would that affect SEO?
Will there be particular search formats for tweets and Twitter handles now, much like the “define:” or “site:” formats? How does a tweet outrank a webpage in SERPs for a particular search term?
These are some of the questions SEO experts and brands need to think of, and luckily, most of them have straightforward answers rooted in the whitehat strategies Google always promotes.