Twitter in Google Search Results Just Got Big
Do you feel that Twitter is a waste of time as far as managing your business’ online presence is concerned? To be honest, in the recent past it may very well have been, depending upon your industry (food trucks and celebrity PR firms not included). That’s a whole other discussion.
What’s important, is that you understand what is happening now. It wasn’t that long ago that Google announced a renewed partnership with Twitter that would allow Tweets to show up in page-one search results. Over the months since then, there hasn’t been too much action in that capacity, until all of a sudden a wave of tweets washed across Google search engine results pages (SERPs) at the end of summer 2015. The Twitter SERP tsunami has arrived.
I really took notice of this new phenomenon three weeks ago. I have a client who manages a site on all things related to college football. I was monitoring Google search results for “college football” keyword terms to see how her online presence was doing. At the top of the SERP I found the Twitter feed. I proceeded to check-in on other industries and there it was, the same feed taking up valuable Google page-one real estate. This behavior has maintained everyday since.
After three weeks of studying the Google SERP Twitter feed and subsequent analytics I have been able to draw the following conclusions that will apply directly to your online business.
6 Things Businesses Need to Know About Twitter Showing Up in Google Search Results
1. The Most Recent Tweets Take Top Spot, So Far
As soon as I discovered the Twitter SERP results for keywords related to “college football” I contacted my client and directed her to send out a Tweet immediately. She did. I hit refresh on the SERP over and over again until it happened – her Tweet sat at that top of Google page-one. I hit refresh a few more times and after about 45 seconds it moved into the second spot, and after about 30 more seconds it was gone. The most recent Tweets were taking over the one and two spots, moving along in an assembly line. Putting a twist on the college football angle, and using the keywords “tailgating recipes” we see how the Google displays the Twitter feed here:
2. Hashtag Using the Keyword/s You Want to Rank For
Google is taking the keywords that users enter into their search bar, and delivers Tweets that it deems to fit. How does it determine this? Hashtags for one. For the past two weeks my team and I used hashtags to match the keyword terms we used to track Twitter feeds showing up on SERPs. We noticed that Tweets using hashtags to match those search terms gained favor with Google and landed them in the feed. Tweets without hashtags (but still using the keywords in the Tweet or in the Twitter profile name) also displayed, but not as frequently.
3. The Twitter Feed Remains for a Short Time (in most cases)
The Twitter SERP feed is not constant. In some instances it lasted for an hour, in others five minutes. Google appears to take a trending search topic and deliver the Twitter feed around that time. “College football” Tweets were displaying on that day because it was the AM of September 3/2015, the official opening day of NCAA football. It essential that you monitor your preferred keywords (search them on Google often, especially if a topic is trending) and if/when you see the Twitter feed pop up post Tweets immediately. It may be gone in an instant.
3. Twitter Clout Doesn’t Matter, Yet
What is puzzling is that Google is delivering Tweets, any Tweets, as long as they are recent and using the keywords to match the search. I have witnessed numerous Tweets make it onto the feed for popular search terms that have profiles with only a double digit (less than 100) Following. Not exactly “high authority” information being delivered. I expect this to pass, as Google will begin to consider profile and engagement metrics (Followers, RTs, and Favorites) that a profile has, before delivering just any profile into the feed. Until that day comes, take full advantage and Tweet, Tweet, Tweet.
4. Links in Tweets Will Go Directly to Your Website
At first I thought Google would simply send searchers packing to the respective Twitter profile if they clicked the perceived link within the Tweet displaying on the SERP. I didn’t imagine that they (Google) would essentially reward a page-one position to any website without earning it through SEO best practices. Turns out they do. If a searcher clicks the Twitter profile name (@ whatever) then they will go to the Twitter profile, but if a searcher clicks the link within the Tweet, they will be delivered the page associated with that link. That equals an instant referral visit to your website.
5. It Actually Brings in Significant Referral Traffic
I compared controlled (ones that I dictated and had access to Google Analytics for) Tweets that lasted for an hour on the Twitter SERP feed and others that lasted only a few minutes. Both worked in delivering click-through traffic to the website hosting the content. The ones lasting an hour brought in double to triple digit Social Referral Visits (or “Sessions”) while the ones lasting a few minutes in the feed still drew in single digit visits. If this is your campaign, your customer/s may be included in those Visits, no matter how many or few.
Stay tuned for updates as I continue to monitor the progress of this exciting new opportunity to get your website on Google page-one.
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