Now, more than ever, real-time marketing takes the lead. On 21st August, Google officially announced on Twitter, and Google blog, that the engine will be including Twitter feeds in Google desktop search results. During May, Google already started showing Tweets in mobile search results. However, now the big news is that Tweets will increasingly begin to show up in all English language search results on desktop.
How Will the Tweets Appear?
Since the announcement, Google has been experimenting with how content is pulled from Twitter in desktop results. We’ve tested the search engine to see what Twitter feeds end up on searches. We searched our agency’s name + location for a more targeted result, “MediaVision London”. The first Twitter result looks like this:
The Twitter account comes up with its description.
However, when searching: “MediaVision Twitter”, the result looks slightly different. Our agency’s last post on Twitter is included in the result in a sort of rich snippet form.
For Twitter accounts with massive followings we are seeing more than one post’s snippet.
Tweets only appears on SERP when Google considers them to be relevant.
We can only guess how this will look as Google continues to experiment with Twitter search results. An early prediction is that it will work a lot like Google’s Knowledge Graph. A search with a real-time implication (see example) will have a real-time and graph section directly in the main search result column. In addition to this, Google may position the feed to the right of the main SERP results (see example).
Google said the relevancy and ranking behind Twitter results will continue to evolve and improve as the algorithm develops.
Why are Google and Twitter Doing This?
A few years ago, Google crawled Twitter to pull out relevant tweets for search results (as part of Google Realtime Search). Unfortunately, that didn’t work very well. If Google tried to crawl Twitter at a fast enough rate for the engine to pull content from Twitter in time so that the content can still be deemed relevant, Twitter might have experienced a massive server meltdown. The partnership allows Google to gain access to a huge number of content without causing Twitter to fall to pieces.
But what’s in it for Twitter? According to Pew, in 2013, 46% of Twitter’s USA users visited the site daily. In 2014, that number dropped to 36%. Out of the top five social media sites, Twitter has the smallest market share (LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram enjoying a larger market share). 19% of the USA adult population uses Twitter, but that statistic looks meagre compared with Facebook’s 58%.
Considering this, Twitter could do with a partnership with the internet giant. Greater visibility (internet browsers don’t need Twitter accounts to access content) in search results means that Twitter might enjoy a more prestigious status as well as a wider base of users.
Twitter is the real-time news stand when it comes to social media; its content is user generated, conversational, constant, hashtagged, and widely used across the globe. From serving as a platform to coordinate revolutions, to destroying the English language, Twitter certainly holds enormous potential and now, tweets are appearing in search results of the world’s dominating search engine. Here are some of the implications we can expect from the new partnership:
– Social Search Will Get Bigger Than Ever
Social and search are integrating further and further into a thick network of information. When Google and Twitter combine forces, it will be even harder to determine where search engine ends and social network begins.
It is safe to say that if you are in search marketing, you need to be conscious of social media developments, and if you’re in social media marketing, it’s a good idea keep up to date with advancements in search marketing.
– The Position of Google+ Will be Compromised
By favouring a competing social media network above, or in addition to their own, Google is leaving Google+ in a dodgy position. Google will have to find a way to balance its own social network’s feeds with Twitter feeds.
What We Need To Do As Marketers
– Be Patient and Monitor Changes
Google is currently experimenting with the way it will be displaying Twitter feeds in search results. A lot can happen during this testing period, the best thing to do is to monitor any visible changes. Currently, Twitter ads don’t seem to appear in Google search results.
– Improve and Increase Your Twitter Usage and Frequency
The obvious step would be to ramp up your Twitter marketing efforts. Keep your fans engaged, focus on capitalising on Twitter, and maximising your reach. If you focus on this you’ll likely come out on top until Google’s next development.
By keeping up to date with Google’s developments, and following these points of advice, your website is likely to perform well in the months to come.
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