Add3 – Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Seattle & Portland

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You may have heard – Google and Twitter struck a deal to give Google access to Twitter’s “firehose” of tweets. Presumably, this deal marks the return of “realtime search” to Google’s search results pages in the near future.

UPDATE 5/19/15: Google announces on the Official Google Blog: “Tweets take flight in the Google app

TL;DR: It isn’t live on desktop search yet – but it’s coming soon. Google app searches on mobile/tablets will see Tweets in the results starting today.

What Does the Twitter/Google Deal Mean to SEO’s?

In reality – this deal means very little for most SEO’s and brands. Truthfully, we don’t know how they plan to implement & display tweets. But if it’s ANYTHING like last time around, a live stream of tweets featured in the search results page is little more than a novelty and there’s no real way to capitalize on it, and if there’s a link to a real-time vertical search from Google’s primary navigation, we already know that nobody clicks on these.

example of a Google RealTime search results page with Twitter's  stream right in the middle and in the sidebar.

Flashback to 2011: This is how Google integrated realtime search and display tweets in results. Screen cap courtesy of BlogLawBlog

The REAL Takeaway From The Twitter / Google Deal

This deal should punctuate the importance of social to search marketers, and puts the modern landscape for SEO’s into clear resolution.  Want your site and it’s content to do well in search? You need to generate the right kind of signals with your content. A social strategy is all but required to succeed at SEO. And social strategy relies heavily on content strategy. Which (should) lean hard on SEO.

In short – If your SEO doesn’t realize the importance of content strategy and the value of social media as a platform to support content marketing, find a new SEO.

Why is Twitter’s Firehose Important to Google?

Google’s mission statement “is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google wants to know what people are talking about and linking to, and Lord knows we don’t use Google+ to do this. People tend to get breaking news from Twitter. Especially people who consume a lot of information and redistribute it. Without access to the firehose, Google has had to crawl Twitter like any other site. With access to the firehose, Google has more access to Twitter’s content. And what’s Twitter’s content? Answer: Trending Topics… and Links. And trending topics by location and within interest/affinity groups. And it probably will encourage people to search for Twitter content on Google… and probably click on ads.

What Does Twitter Get out of the Deal with Google?

In a word – distribution. Yes, there’s data licensing revenue to be had, but consider this study from Pew research.

Percent of online adults who using social media sites. Study from Pew Research - Sept 2014.

Percent of online adults who using social media sites. Study from Pew Research – Sept 2014.

Twitter has a hard core user base, but they have a growth problem. I’d imagine that the appeal of this deal is in user acquisition for Twitter… More users would also mean a more viable Twitter advertising platform.

More Info

And here’s some more articles about the deal that I liked and probably stole ideas from:

And lastly here’s a shout-out to a few fellow SEO’s who helped me out with this one.

What do you think?

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Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency's Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 - when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn't looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine - in that order, etc. Mostly - he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

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