Twitter is the most talked about social media website when it comes to the second screen. Any time there is a major awards show or sporting events the blue Twitter bird and hashtag symbol are on the TV screen every 15 seconds. It is remarkable how embedded Twitter now is when it comes to watching TV and looking at a smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, the lifespan of a tweet is about 30 seconds, if that. With a tweet having 30 seconds of fame one would hope it could help a website in terms of search ranking. That is simply not the case. At this point, most tweets are not indexed by Google and the links do not help with SEO. For more on website traffic from Twitter use this link: How to Generate Website Traffic From Twitter.
Generating traffic and seeing an increase in search rankings are two completely different aspects of Internet marketing. There are many websites that get hundreds of thousands of visitors per month yet they do not rank well for competitive keywords. There are a number of popular social media blogs that fit this bill. If you are a business owner that makes money through services or products there is a good chance you will want to rank in search. There are social media websites much better than Twitter that can help service this need. For more information on ranking better in Google search through SEO please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I offer several monthly packages.
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Why Google Does Not Index Twitter Tweets
Years ago, Google offered somewhere in the ballpark of $4 to $6 billion for Twitter. Twitter politely declined and went on their merry way. Google also struck up a relationship with Twitter to offer Google Real Time search in which searchers would see “real time” results streaming on the front page of Google. Real time search ended at the beginning of July 2011 when both Twitter and Facebook turned off the firehose that allowed Google to access their data.
This severed relationship did not end with just real time search. Twitter has basically closed off their Tweets to the Googlebot. This means that all the tweets that have links pointing to websites are not getting indexed in Google. In turn, no matter how many retweets or favorites you are getting it is not helping with SEO. This is very unfortunate as there are many Twitter users that would love to use their influential Twitter account to help a personal or business website get more exposure in search. The only link that is crawled and indexed by Google is the link in the profile about section of Twitter.
Can Twitter Help Increase Search Rankings?
Directly, no. Indirectly, yes. The link in the Twitter profile is a link that Google can crawl, index and rank. If you have many external links pointing back to your personal or business Twitter account this Twitter profile link with be strengthened. If you have a strong Twitter presence there is a very high likelihood that websites, blogs and other social networks have linked to your Twitter account. Some Twitter accounts have a pagerank as high as 7 or 8. This is huge as it makes the link within the Twitter profile that much more powerful.
Another way you can get some of the SEO value from Twitter is to have a social media account that shares Tweets on another website. A great example of this is Rebel Mouse. You can set up a Rebel Mouse account to reshare your Tweets, Google Plus posts or almost any other type of public social media update. All Rebel Mouse updates are crawled and indexed by Google search. This means if you Tweet with a link to a website the Rebel Mouse update will actually be crawled by Google and the website will be assigned a value. The power of the Twitter profile has nothing to do with the power of the link; the power of the Rebel Mouse profile is what will place the value of the link.
If this is difficult to understand please feel free to contact me at email@example.com as I will be more than happy to explain how you can rank better by using specific social media websites. Rebel Mouse is just one of many websites that will allow you to set up an auto update of your Tweets. Although Twitter is not crawled by Google there are a number of other social media websites that are. Finding the proper avenues to both grow a readership while also getting crawled in Google search can help your website increase search visitors.
Should My Business Be On Twitter?
The answer to this question is industry specific. While I would say that most businesses should be on Twitter there are some that should not. If you are a lawyer or a doctor there is no reason to be on Twitter. Client confidentiality is extremely important and there is very little that Twitter can do to help you market your private practice. That said, bars and restaurants should definitely be on Twitter. Here is a great article to explain why: How Restaurants and Bars Can Use Twitter to Get Business. If you are not certain if your business should be on Twitter do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Creativity and humor are extremely important when it comes to growing a presence on Twitter. If your business struggles with this it might be best to stick to building a website with content that will rank in search. I explain the power of WordPress blog posts and content on a website in this article: Do WordPress Blog Posts Help SEO? The short answer is WordPress blog posts or any type of content is the best thing you can do for search engine optimization. Remember that search engines exist only because websites constantly produce more content and information. Without new information search engines would be worthless.
Before spending $1500 a month on a social media campaign that promises to build out your Twitter following recognize that even with 50,000 Twitter followers you are still not going to get a lot of SEO help. The only link that is indexed in Google is the link within the profile. If an SEO or social media company tries to prove to you otherwise ask them to show you proof of Tweets being indexed and ranked in Google search. Ask for Google Webmaster Tools links to specific pages (not a homepage) that show more than a single link from Twitter, which is the profile link.
Please note that some high profile Twitter users will have their tweets indexed and ranked in Google search but these are few and far between. Unless you have access to a celebrity Twitter account with over 5 million followers you are not going to see individual tweets indexed in search. Remember to look at your business model and decide which social media websites are going to help you make more money moving forward into 2015 and beyond. If you plan to get started on Twitter here is a Beginner’s Guide to Using Twitter to Gain Followers.