Late last week, it was announced that Twitter and Google have struck a deal to bring back Tweets in Google search results.
According to Ad Age, tweets will be visible in the SERP in the first half of 2015. As of late, Google has only been able to crawl Twitter pages to gather data, but this deal will make the data immediately available to the engine. So, you should be able to find your tweets in Google search results immediately after it’s posted.
Why Do Tweets in Google Search Results Matter?
In 2011, Google put a stop to one of its most beloved (in my opinion) features, Google Real-Time Search. The feature allowed you to watch your favorite sporting event from your couch and monitor the noise about it from Google Real-Time Search. It would instantly pull in data from Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and news websites as it was generated, so you could get a full picture of what people were saying and engage as you wished.
In 2011, the deal with Twitter expired and the social giant decided not to renew it. Without Twitter (and the data from its 284 million users), Google Real-Time Search didn’t feel as “real time” since this medium is where many people go to rant, rave, and vent about topics in 140 guilt-free characters. Google finally killed the feature in July of that year. No more tweets in Google search results.
Why do they REALLY matter?
If you’re in the trenches of SEO every day, like we are at BFO, an alarm may have just sounded to the tune of “social search.” Without access to Twitter’s data, Google has been slow to clarify what it can and cannot access (and do with) the data it can get from this initial crawl. Now that it will have this data instantly, it should be able to see every single tweet, link, and image posted on Twitter.
Could this be a new opportunity for link-building? What will it mean for news sites and others that thrive off of providing instant information? While the engine will have instant access to articles and blogs, the competition may have just gotten a lot steeper for sites that have thrived in the past off of their established authority in search engines.
More data means more players in the game.
This is an exciting time for nerds like us who watch the SERPs day in and day out. Social media and SEO have seen more and more overlap as sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have gained popularity. If trends continue to move in this direction (as I anticipate they will), we’ll see the overlap continue to grow.
If you haven’t already, make sure you’re considering integrating your social media and SEO strategies. We’ll keep an eye on how this moves the needle in terms of social search. To learn more, check out our ebook ‘The Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO Success‘ where we have an entire chapter about the effect social media has on SEO.