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October 23, 2009

Twitter | Bing and Google Seal the Deal

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The biggest news this week was the fact that Bing is starting to index and list in its search results, Twitter and Facebook information that has been made public by the profile owners. Oh and Google is doing the same thing re Twitter, but it’s a planned rollout over the next few months, WOW that is big news. That’s 54 million monthly Twitter uses whose tweets will now be in the SERPS. This has a really good outlook the big search giants in regards of value they can add as with a lot search segments (news, online shopping, recent events etc) the most recent news are often the most relevant.


google microsoft twitter deal

Photo by respres via Creative Commons

This doesn’t however mean that your once pristine search engine results will be polluted by largely inconsequential tweets and Facebook status updates. More than likely the big search engines will use all this additional data to leverage existing results and refine them using the additional Facebook and Twitter data to get the most relevant sites to the top of the rankings. I think a big factor will be how the search engines rank tweets as relevant or not. Will they use number of followers? Re-tweets? Specific mentions across other social media outlets? I think this will be one of the most difficult parts of the deal for the search engines to work out. An interesting aside is that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg mentioned that no money changed hands with Microsoft with regards to their deal.

Some reviews of the Bing Twitter search has revealed that some already established Twitter search engines have better effectiveness and features. Such engines like Tweetme is said to be far more advanced in terms of interacting with Twitter than Bing, unfortunately without changing my Bing locale setting, I can’t confirm this. It seems the Bing Twitter search is not available in Australia, see below.

bing-twitter

I attempted to find some information about how much data the Twitter servers actually hold but was ultimately unsuccessful but the point I wanted to get across was that’s it’s got to be loads. All that data is now going to be duplicated within not only Bing but also Google, now when you add in the additional Facebook data that Bing is going to sift through, thats alot of storage requirements. If I was an investor I would look at who provides storage and servers to these behemoths and get involved right away.

What does this mean for search engine optimisation? Well, you should tweet all new content created, this might get it indexed more quickly. What will be very interesting is the value that search engines will assign to the value of links and would the value of links change if the search engines ‘see’ the tweet as an authority ? There are also spam considerations here, Twitter is inherently easy to spam and the search engines will have to implement some pretty stringent spam measures, will these measures filter out any SEO specific measures to take advantage of Twitter? Here is a list of some good seo tips for Twitter that might be more applicable in the next few months.

Personally I think this is a good thing, if it is done correctly that is. More real-time results, more relevancy will be added to the SERPS. This will only be the case if this extra data stream is integrated in a way where useless ancillary tweets are eliminated, spam is filtered and ranking algorithm is perfected in a way that it allocated high relevance to trusted tweets while discarding the one-offs and tweets about how you like your toast.
Enjoy your Weekend all.





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