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Want Your Tweets on Google? Get More (Better) Followers



Back in October, Google was second to the punch, falling behind Bing as they both announced real-time search deals to include Twitter results. (And it didn’t help that Bing was already testing live results and Google was months away from the integration.) But now Google’s real-time results are live—and they’re talking about how they’re ranking tweets.

If you thought Twitter and Google were popularity contests, turns out you’re right, according to an interview with Google Fellow Amit Singhal in Technology Review today. (Well, Singhal insists that this is “definitely, definitely” more than a popularity contest.) One of the many ranking signals they use is the number and quality of your followers:

“You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you, and then you follow someone–then even though this [new person] does not have lots of followers,” his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves followed widely, Singhal says.

However, other ranking factors come into effect, too—including hashtags (Google has apparently modeled hashtags and found them to be a negative indicator of tweet quality), and context (if you’re searching for “Obama health care,” tweets mentioning Obama and the war in Afghanistan won’t show up as relevant.)

Plans for the future include geolocation information, and further development of the “truly symbiotic” relationship between Google and Twitter (in the words of Dylan Casey, the Google product manager for real-time search).

Google also acknowledges that Twitter isn’t the be-all and end-all of real time on the Internet (finally!)—they use many different social sites and news sources for their real time results.

What do you think? Is this the best way to rank tweets in real time results?

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  • http://www.best-seo-blog.com/ Michael Martinez

    Or you could just link to the Tweets and rank them through traditional SEO methods. The Google discussion you refer to is concerned with real-time indexing, which doesn’t last very long. It’s not worth agonizing over.
    .-= Michael Martinez´s last blog ..The Great Grandma Content Caper =-.

  • http://www.markdb.net/?utm_source=marketingpilgrim&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=Blog%2BComment Mark DB

    Great Post

    It’s interesting, taken at face value, that Google will be using a Pagerank style system on Twitter accounts, quality inbound links (in this case followers) = more authority. I’m interested, how the algorithm will decide the quality of a user. I mean there are spammy users who have 19,000+ followers merely because people turn on automatic following. Does this mean that they will have more authority than a person that has 500 quality followers that actually pay attention to what they say?

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikesking MikeSKing

    Great point Mark DB….what’s more influential 10,000 followers who don’t really care what you post or 1,000 followers who actually read, resond, and are influenced by your postings

    Either way thanks for the informative blog!!

  • http://socialwayne.com Wayne Sutton

    Oh my that means my #crazyhashtags are hurting my google tweet rankings! :)
    .-= Wayne Sutton´s last blog ..Shares from the Social Web: RSS feeds for January 13th =-.

  • http://geekmommy.net Lucretia Pruitt

    Google ignoring hashtags means anyone searching for information about conferences will not get it on Google.

    This is kind of sad – because personally, if I were say for example, searching on “Tim Berners-Lee” and “TED” http://is.gd/6eylh would show up – but I think I’d be far more interested in what people tweeted about *during* his talk at TED in 2009 because it would show what impacted the audience more. Google seems to have missed the boat on that. But hey, I guess there’s always Bing.
    .-= Lucretia Pruitt´s last blog ..Just Breathe. =-.

  • http://www.roimedia.co.za/ SEO

    What do you think? Is this the best way to rank tweets in real time results?

    I see keywords as the answer from now till the distant future. Keywords Identify topics and how well the tweet corresponds with the topic. This isn’t a running competition, it’s a writing competition. Simply put words and writing style as well as relevant surrounding text is what counts when it comes to real time. Identify what the user

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    Ok now you can just beg a few people to follow your tweets that have a ton of followers and bingo you instantly good to go.
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Most Influential Online Marketers of 2009, All 100 Of Them =-.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Jordan McCollum

    @Lucretia—Aside from hashtag spam and Twitter memes, I don’t really understand devaluing hashtags either.

    On the number of followers: Let’s review what Amit said:

    “You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you, and then you follow someone–then even though this [new person] does not have lots of followers,” his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves followed widely, Singhal says.

    It’s not just the number of followers, it’s the quality.

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