The revelation, which came at a Twitter analyst event, as reported by Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, seems to be a move to reassure investors that the company has a solid growth strategy. The short-term results seemed to be impressive, with Twitter reporting that the monthly number of logged-out users coming to its site increased ten-fold to the current 75 million following the changes.
The move means that search engines can more easily access pages where Twitter compiles tweets and information relating to particular hashtags. The result is that “logged-out” users of the search engines will see more than 50,000 of the more popular hashtag pages appearing in their search results. Clicking through from these will take the user to a landing page with tweets all about the hashtag such as this one for #socialmediamarketing. Take a look ….
The main purpose of this landing page is clearly to demonstrate to non Twitter users what they might be missing and encourage them to sign up for the service, signifying continued growth to investors and analysts. And it only makes sense that Twitter will no doubt be exploring other ways to monetize these pages following the upgrade to the search capabilities.
This is an interesting move by Twitter in view of the previous deal that they had with Google, the so-called “Twitter Firehose” that has been highlighted again by Danny Sullivan, this time over at Marketing Land. Although Twitter now says that historically SEO hasn’t been that important to them, Danny rightly points out that five years ago, when they signed their deal with Google, they had SEO to rival any company. There was a time when Twitter results landed in Google’s search results, which had a big impact on search and, of course, traffic.
The original deal, which gave Google’s search engine access to every tweet in real time, eventually became the core of a real time search service from Google. Add in the fact that Twitter achieved the rare distinction of having paid ads on Google and you could see that the relationship between the two companies was pretty tight. That all came to an end in 2011, when the deal came to a well publicized, but unexplained end.
A similar deal with Bing has continued, but it seems clear that Twitter now needs to increase its search traffic as part of its future plans. Thus, the move to get more out of Google, although this time by way of an SEO strategy rather than a formal arrangement with the search engine. Does having a link to search results in search results violate Google’s spam rules? On the face of it, it’s possible, but we’ll have to watch and see.
It will be interesting to see how greater visibility in Google’s search results affects Twitter’s user numbers and revenues. On a wider scale, it will be fascinating to see how the SEO community reacts. Will they see twitter hashtags as a route to more Google traffic? Might some even try to replicate the link to an internal results page from Google search results in view of Google’s seemingly relaxed approach to Twitter? What do you think, SEO friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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