With the recent announcement of a renewed Twitter/Google Search partnership, many are wondering how the search and social landscapes will be impacted moving forward. Fear not, as Rosetta’s team of Paid, Owned and Earned Media experts weigh in on potential impact to programs and strategies:
According to Bloomberg, Twitter has struck a deal with Google that would allow tweets to once again appear within the Google Search Results. Many in the industry will remember Google Real-Time Search, an experiment that indexed and showed tweets within the Google Search Engine results page. In 2011, Google’s agreement with Twitter expired, and the wealth of real-time data/tweets was removed from the search engine results virtually overnight. With tweets removed, Google had its own vision for providing real-time results:
“Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.” – Google, 2011
Of course, the evolution of Google+ – while valuable in its own right for many businesses/individuals – hasn’t panned out to be a cornucopia of real-time and warehoused insights that one might find on Twitter. Google is essentially acknowledging as much with the renewed partnership. Later this year, tweets will once again be accessible to Google in real time through Twitter’s firehose stream of data.
The partnership is mutually beneficial for both Google and Twitter. Google immediately increases its relevance to users, while Twitter extends its reach and gains an additional revenue stream through licensing at the same time.
So what does this mean for brands?
Matt Wilkinson – Paid Media Craft Lead, Rosetta
While the deal does not appear to have an advertising component, we envision a correlation with tweets that have high visibility (eg, shared/retweeted numerous times). Brands that are looking to “push” Twitter content through the Google Search Engine Results page could look towards Promoted Tweets/Accounts as a way to increase visibility for their content. Additionally, Paid Search Advertisers should consider the real-time relevance of their ad copy for appropriate searches, knowing that a new source of data will be accessible to users in the Search Engine Results page.
Stephen Pitts – SEO Craft Lead, Rosetta
This is another way for Google to push organic results further down the page; however, this is not necessarily a bad thing entirely. Though the first page of search results may shrink for keywords that will generate these tweets, those who are looking for a particular product/service are likely going to move right past this, as it would be white noise for them. It might lower the overall number of people who visit top-ranking websites – however, these visitors are likely going to be more productive than those who are swayed by social posts, such as Twitter – just as it did when Google introduced universal search years ago.
Another potential benefit to Google’s access to the firehose is opening up the index to the content being created by Twitter’s 288 million regular users, as well as access to the links shared within tweets. There is already a significant amount of evidence that tweeting a link can cause the content within the link to be crawled and indexed more quickly, so the inclusion of tweets in results could increase that likelihood, perhaps even garnering additional authority to tweeted content.
This evolution may also put additional pressure on search and social marketers to work more closely when PR issues become front and center in the SERP – potentially influencing click behavior. Imagine a public relations debacle showing up above your website results when someone searches for your brand? If negative, it could even push users to a competitor’s instead. Yet another reason companies should have an integrated experience, and validation that content strategies should converge.
Katelyn Stiver – Social Media Strategist, Rosetta
As Steve stated, this partnership continues to reinforce the importance of having a cohesive content strategy across all digital channels. Brands need to make sure that their tweets are telling their story in a way that encourages the user to engage and want learn more. It also gives social content even more visibility to potentially attract new followers and engagements, so creating relevant and engaging content will continue to be paramount to helping drive a brand’s social strategy forward. If brands aren’t already activating on Twitter, this may be another reason to start.
At this point, there are many unknowns as to the criteria on which tweets will be populated within searches. Will it be based on who you follow? Or is it strictly on the keyword? Will engagement with the tweets play a factor? The answers will eventually come and – as is the case with Google and every social network – those answers will continue to change. But if a brand has a strong, holistic content strategy, it will be easy to optimize to this latest partnership and the inevitable changes it will bring.
Jason Tabeling – Partner, Paid, Owned and Earned Media, Rosetta
This partnership is a big step for both companies. For Google it brings more real-time content to search results. For Twitter it helps extend the reach of their content to address slowing user growth that has shareholders concerned (they did something similar with a partnership with Flipboard.) For brands and advertisers this is yet another signal validating the value of fresh content. According to eMarketer, 37% of brand marketers today are personalizing content in real time already, but this change will increase those percentages. Tying together your content strategy from social, SEO, paid, etc. will help extract maximum value from this change.
Rosetta’s value proposition as a Customer Engagement Agency is well suited to helping our clients tie together content and commerce, leveraging deep customer data and insights to drive business impact. Check out some case studies to learn more about how we bring it all together for our clients.
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