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So Google and Twitter have struck up a deal. This isn’t particularly new news. In the past, Google and Twitter had a deal where Google had access to the fire hose of data that basically pours out of Twitter with every tweet and everything that goes up on the platform, fed into an API and splattered all over Google wherever Google sees it fit to do so. That deal was allowed to lapse because the CEO of Twitter at the time did not feel it was in their best interest. So they let it go. But, you know, new CEO, new deal. So this is kicked in now, and the data should really be flowing. Any results that we get from that will obviously be seen in the near future.
So why would Google want all of this data from Twitter and why would Twitter want to give it to them? First up, Google has a social network. Google has Google+. That was adopted quickly, and it was populated quickly. It’s still a thriving community, but it’s quite niche. It’s not cool. It’s not where the cool people go. You get the odd celebrity on there. You get the odd person that is a cool person, but really it’s quite a geeky platform. I am a geek myself, but, you know, it’s not the coolest place to be, and I will admit that it’s quite techy or it’s marketingey or it’s a Googley sort of place.
Google knows this, and while the influence on the platform is high and there’s a lot of good stuff on there, I use it a lot. I know a lot of people that use it a lot. But it’s just not the cool kid on the block.
Twitter is the opposite of that. Twitter is the cool kid on the block. Everyone’s on there and everyone loves it. I love it. I think it’s really cool. People willingly enter into it, rather than just sort of be on there and play it lip service, which is kind of what happens on Google+ with a lot of bigger brands and bigger sort of stars.
Twitter doesn’t have that problem. It’s been so widely accepted as a cool place to be. They’ve got people just chucking everything at them in real time, and that data is valuable. Google knows that and it wants that.
Twitter is like a news resource, to me anyway. I’ll find out a lot of stuff, first and foremost from Twitter. That newsfeed is literally a newsfeed. If something breaks, I’ll find out about it from Twitter before I find out about it from another source. That real-time, in the moment user generated stuff is really important, especially in search. I think when something breaks and Google isn’t the first to know, they’ll probably be upset about that because people look for information on Google. They’ll want to find results relating to something that is breaking at that time from Google. So that will help them become a more real-time search engine based on events that are happening in the now.
But Twitter gets a lot out of this too. Twitter, in recent years, user growth has hit a little bit of a plateau. It’s still growing, but it’s not as quick as it used to be. That happens with a lot of platforms that get very big very quickly. You will hit a plateau. But now that they have sponsored tweets and an advertising platform within them, this need for new users is important. It’s a bigger deal now. So if they can get people that aren’t using Twitter onto Twitter from a search in Google, they’re going to be loving that. They’re going to get all sorts of new users, maybe even new sign-ups. They’ll have a whole new set of audiences to give sponsored content to and make some more money out of. That’s ultimately their goal there, so it works for them.
But the important thing is how does it work for us? How does it work for marketers? How does it work for us guys? What can we do with this? Hopefully, we’re already using it. Hopefully, we’ve been engaging on Twitter. We’ve been talking to our followers. We’ve been getting more followers as a result, and we’ve been growing that audience already.
There’s no time like the present to start though. Get on it. Talk to people. Engagement is important. Look for people in your local area to talk to, in your field. Strike up a conversation. No one’s going to come and talk to you. Just imagine it like you’re at a party and you want to mingle. Just go and do that. Just go and do a bit of Twitter mingling, and you’ll find an audience that way. Your audience will like you, and they will follow you that way. So that’s the way to do it.
Why? There have been studies in the past that show that Twitter accounts and tweets that are shared and followed, retweeted and favorited are more often likely to appear in a search result in Google because either Google considered it to have more weight, or it’s popularity has been found on a number of different profiles. There are many sort of mechanisms for how it would make its way into the index, but it’s more likely that it would be in a search result if you have that follower engagement and that sort of general activity going on than if you don’t. So that’s why it’s important and that’s how you can use it.
Will it directly affect a website’s rankings? Big question. Who knows? My argument really is who cares? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re using the platform and that you’re growing an audience and that you’re making people aware that you exist. I personally think that, yes, there is a correlation between your activity on social and your search results. I mean, it’s been seen. Obviously, the whole cause and effect thing, you’d really need to study this. From my experiences and what I’ve seen, you can just use social as a real big catalyst to get more visibility and more interest, especially in branded stuff as well, which is important.
I think you should be doing it anyway, whether or not it has a knock-on effect. If it does have a knock-on effect, it will mean that more of your tweets are indexed and you will be visible in search more often than you wouldn’t be. When is that ever a bad thing? I think it doesn’t matter how a user gets there as long as they get there.
So fingers in pies and all that, but it does pay off and it does have value. You can see it for so many bigger brands, smaller brands. Smaller brands especially, that their engagement is focused on social, they put a lot of weight into that. Twitter especially, because it’s out. It’s quick. It’s snappy. You don’t have to do a lot with Twitter to get a lot of response. I think it’s brilliant for that.
I think this deal, the merging of them again is going to be really fruitful and really productive. Hopefully, we’ll see more real-time search results. Obviously, if you can get on that and get on the news quickly, brilliant, especially if it’s in your niche as well. So just get tweeting and get working on it and be on top of that. Be quick to the punch as well. That’s important.
Yeah, thank you. If you want to give me a follow on Twitter, for those lovely social signals and metrics, I am @AlMoghadam. Thank you very much for watching.
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