So as most of you know BOTH Google and Bing have announced partnerships with Twitter to add tweets to search results in real time (as well as Bing stating they will add Facebook status updates). While Google’s integration of this is still a while off, Bing has created a beta page for it, but has yet to directly integrate. Bing’s exact description is below:
- “A real-time index of the Tweets that match your search queries in results. This feature makes it easier to follow what’s going on by reducing the amount of duplicates, spam, and adult content.
- Giving you the option to rank tweets either by most recent or by “best match,” where we consider a Tweeter’s popularity, interestingness of the tweet, and other indicators of quality and trustworthiness.
- Providing the top links shared on Twitter around your specific search query by showcasing a few of the most relevant tweets. Additionally, Bing automatically expands those small URLs (like bit.ly) to enable you to understand what people are tweeting about. Instead of showing standard search result captions, we select 2 top tweets to give users a glimpse of the sentiment around the shared link."
Below is an example of the Bing implementation of Twitter. You can see the search for faucets shows my most recent tweet about faucets as well as a shared link posted to the article that is from @SWNeilPlumbing as well.
This is really a cool idea as it somewhat implements a recent “comment” system for websites. Theoretically you can see social trends associated to the keyword you are searching for. Then below the link you can see what people have been saying about the website that was socializing on the topic or keyword searched, on Twitter. Google’s implementation of this will likely be integrated into universal search results and will likely feature the keyword searched in regular SERPs as well as any recent tweets with information on the websites.
Reinventing the Way We Search
So what does this mean for the SEO’s out there? Well in the short term, not much, but in the long run it could mean a complete redefinition of the way we do our jobs. As an example, right now having dedicated content that has garnered a lot of links and been well indexed by Google, directly improves the search results. But what happens if Google and Bing start to integrate Twitter posts in the universal search? Twitter posts are news as it is happening, and typically do not carry a long life span. So technically if they are integrated into Google and Bing they could theoretically out rank or draw attention away from websites that have been fighting for the main page for months, when they have only been posted for an hour and received five to ten retweets.
This change will directly affect SEO as you will battle for placement through the continuous posts of content that people deem “retweetable”, thus theoretically allowing your twitter post to be bumped higher on the universal search results. Now my ideas are guesses as to the actual implementation, but one way or another, this is the future. As people start to rely more on Twitter and Facebook (which Bing has confirmed they are adding) for their news, friend connections, and link sharing, we will have to adapt the way we do SEO to accompany that.
What do you think? Will these twitter posts make it into Google’s universal search results, or will they just be a stand alone search such as images and shopping?