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Big News Again
Rumor has it that Google and Twitter have struck a deal. Learn what this big high-tech news means, a little history between Twitter and Google, and some recommendations on how to take advantage of this development for your business’ SEO and social media marketing efforts.
A Public Breakup
Tech sometimes has a short memory, but the Web holds onto history forever. Twitter and Google had an agreement between 2009 and 2011. So, tweets in Google search results really isn’t a new “thing.” In the original agreement, the search engine had access to public tweets. However, the relationship went awry. Back in January 2012 Mashable reported on the quarrel between the two Silicon Valley companies. So what’s changed? Well, the disagreement was based upon Google+ results integrated into search results and Twitter’s COO was a major naysayer.
A New Deal to Add Tweets in Google Search Results
Reports of a new deal between Google and Twitter have hit major news sites, including Bloomberg Business, Reuters, Mashable, TechCrunch, and CNet. Here’s a quick recap of what the new deal is all about:
- The agreement of adding real-time tweets to Google search results isn’t official. Google sources have asked not to be named. Twitter has declined to comment.
- Twitter feeds in Google search results will appear as soon as the first half of 2015.
- The agreement provides direct access to the Twitter stream. Previously Google had to crawl Twitter’s site for information (a major drag on resources).
- Former Twitter COO was against renewing the agreement in order to keep more control over the social media network’s content. He’s now a part-time partner of a VC company.
- Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo is driven to get viewed by more non-users and generate more advertising revenue with a larger audience. Twitter shares have already seen an uptick in the market, rising 1.3% to $41.26 a share.
- Twitter will be paid a data-licensing fee; that will add to their already significant coffers.
- Bing and Yahoo (powered by Bing) already have a similar agreement.
- The effect on Google+ is uncertain.
SEO and Social Signals
We often hear clients complain about social media’s lack of ROI. If you simply measure social media’s ability to drive new website traffic, you aren’t seeing the whole picture. Search engines are looking at engagement on social media — likes, shares, pins, views — to decipher emerging trends and popularity of a brand. Bing and Google understand that consumers are looking for recommendations from sources they know and trust. Social networks and your posts provide that piece of data. The new licensing agreement allows Google to sift through that information real-time. Brands that are silent or sporadically post may be at a disadvantage.
Yes, search algorithms are still a big black box. We know there are hundreds of factors that influence when and where a brand shows up in organic search. Integrating your White Hat SEO — generating quality content and links — with social media takes a more holistic approach to an online presence. Tweets in Google search results (and Bing’s) shouldn’t be evaluated simply by website traffic.
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