Next time you are with a group of your friends ask them “what do you think of Twitter?” and I bet you will get the same response I get from every Jane Doe and Jo Blogs I ask “erm…I have a Twitter account but I don’t really see the point of it…I prefer Facebook”.
Yes, despite having more than 200 million users, Twitter still seems to have this odd reputation as being not as good or important as Facebook. What’s more, it isn’t just individual users who appear to have this thinking, but also many small to medium sized businesses as well.
Every day I seem to come across more and more small to medium sized businesses with well optimized sites, beautiful blogs and fantastic Facebook pages but have Twitter accounts with no Tweets, no followers and not even a picture!
For a few years now many small, medium and large businesses all around the world have been realising the importance of Social Media for online brand awareness, website traffic and Google Rankings. Yet despite these businesses doing excellent things with blogs and Facebook pages, their Twitter accounts seem to have been left behind, given less attention, time and focus.
Why Twitter is Becoming More Important
In recent months we have seen Google release 2 new features to try and make search results more personal, refined and more social. Blocked and +1 have both been developed to help make Google more of a social network, focusing more on individual user’s preferences, connections and tastes, to help deliver the most relevant results for each individual user.
With this, all signs are pointing to the idea that Google rankings are being more and more influenced by user generated content such as comments on blogs, Facebook Likes and of course Tweets! With Google apparently in the process of trying to acquire Twitter and already having access to their vast amount of user data, they appear to be attributing more and more importance to businesses Twitter accounts when it comes to rankings.
Links vs Tweets
It may seem farfetched to attribute higher Google rankings to the number of Twitter followers you have, but as we can see from the latest SEOMoz Ranking Factors data, as well as other research, Twitter seems to be having as big an impact as blogs, keyword focused content and even links.
Of course, this is not to say that traditional SEO methods, such as onsite optimisation, keyword focused content and link building, are no longer important, and a strong SEO campaign should feature all of these elements. However, it is clear that we need to keep pushing Social Media and start giving Twitter the attention it deserves.
We already know how important Social Media can be for brand awareness, online promotion and networking, but now it also appears to be having an even greater impact , affecting Google’s search results.