After three and a half years of tweets floating aimlessly throughout the Twittersphere, all the world’s 140-character Twitter snippets are finally going to fly free once more on Google. Yup, Google is going to start showing your Twitter ramblings in search result pages again. According to a report by Bloomberg Business, Twitter and Google have worked out a new deal that will again give the search engine instant access to your every thought, weather complaint, news update and musing you make about what the next innovation in pizza technology should be (O.K., maybe that last one’s just us).
Google’s 2009 agreement with the network, which boasts 248 million users, expired back in July 2011 and allowed for real-time tweets to appear in search result pages. When the deal expired, Google still had access to some Twitter info but just what was publically available to their bots. With this February’s negotiations, the internet giant can now immediately index users’ posts from Twitter’s database. The change is estimated to go in effect before the first half of 2015 is out. So, be warned: even though your mom isn’t on Twitter, she can still potentially stumble on that snarky comment you made about her lasagna – of course, that’s if your tweet is stuffed with more keywords than her manicotti is with ricotta (#badSEOjokes).
The deal will likely do more to Twitter’s user base than inflate the hopes of tweens looking to become internet famous and hit the first page of Google. It’s also projected to draw in some new members by leveraging Google’s massive audience. As new user sign-ups slow down, Twitter aims to attract fresh accounts from intrigued Googlers who spot relevant tweets in their search results. When the network chose to limit the resources available to Google back in 2011, it also limited its opportunities to appear in SERPs. Meaning, the only people who were seeing all the exciting buzz that Twitter was offering were those already on Twitter. Perhaps consequently, the 9-year-old company has been consistently seeing a drop in membership growth year-over-year. The agreement is seen as mutually beneficial, serving Twitter a way to get logged out users to covert, and giving Google a richer array of results to display on everything from pop culture to current events. Because what could better enhance your understanding of say, the feud between Kanye West and, uh, everything, than an eloquent sentence or two straight from Yeezy’s mouth?
With instantaneous coverage of the world’s Twitter posts, Google’s move begs the question: will this impact social signals as ranking factors in any way? A strong correlation already exists between Google’s own social platform, Google+, and ranking factors, with a 2013 Moz study showing that pages with more Google +1s earned a higher listing on the search engine’s result pages. However, Google+ is the only social network to which the company has complete and total around-the-clock access to, so the potential for other social platforms to be taken into consideration may be limited. Regardless of this monumental deal, a strong Twitter or any social platform presence has been shown to help drive traffic to retailers’ sites and increase sales. Building out your social presence can help define brand identity and provide customer insights you may not get anywhere else. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to drop Mean Girls references and post baby animal videos.