Recently, Bloomberg revealed, through undisclosed sources, that Google will once again be displaying Twitter posts in Google search results. This is big news considering the volume of tweets that are posted on a daily basis and the content you can find through Twitter feed searches.
This presumed move by Google to once again include Twitter content in Google search results is a very clear statement by the world’s largest search engine that social is here to stay and that what is being said in social streams is worthy enough to be included in search results.
How Does Google’s Twitter Search Work?
So how does this work? First you have to understand that Twitter is not a private social media network like Facebook where you can change your settings to limit the visibility of your posts to friends of friends, etc. Yes, you can have a private Twitter account that only those that have been “approved” can see, but the number of those are limited and that’s not the norm. For the most part, everything that’s posted on Twitter is searchable (see search.twitter.com) and can be indexed by a giant search engine. This is the reason why events like the Super Bowl and the State of Union are so visible on Twitter (think about a public conversation) as opposed to Facebook (think private, more intimate conversations among friends).
Why Does This Matter to Businesses?
If you are a business and are actively posting to Twitter about your industry and creating compelling content (like good inbound marketers should be doing) this content can now be found within a Google search. So if you have written a blog post about “The Importance of Having an Inbound Planning Strategy Day” and you post it on Twitter, chances are when someone searches for “Inbound Planning Strategy” your tweet will show up in the results.
One thing we don’t know much about is where these Twitter posts will show up on a Google search results page. The biggest win for those active on Twitter would be if they appeared in the main “Web” search results. I don’t see this as very likely as Google+ results currently show up there if you have +1’d a specific page in the result and I would see this space as reserved for Google products like Google+, Vimeo etc. Putting Twitter search results into the main “web” search area would seem to indicate Google having an intent to purchase Twitter and making it one of Google’s products. But of course, that’s all conjecture.
Another possibility, and the most likely in my mind, would be a separate navigation tab between “News” and “Images” that would be “Social” or “Twitter”. This would be highly visible and give those looking for these results an easy place to find them. However, there is a possibility that they will be somewhat “buried” in a lesser-viewed search area, akin to where Shopping, Flights, Books, and Apps are found.
Regardless of where the Twitter results find themselves displayed in Google search, one thing is for sure. If you are actively posting content on Twitter, this will no doubt increase the visibility your tweets receive. So remember to include keywords in your Twitter posts, use hashtags (#thisisahashtag), and post often.
Have questions about your company’s social media strategy? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction.
- 6 Fundamentals of Using Twitter
- How to Syndicate Content (and Keep Google Happy)
- How to Win at Twitter (at Least in the Short Run!)