It’s been building for some time and last week Google announced that it had a struck a deal with Twitter to incorporate its tweets into its search results. If you’re not familiar (and even if you are) with twitter you may be wondering why Google would be so interested in accessing twitters data and all of the little posts of text that we add every day. There are two reasons. The first is up to date relevant answers to search queries. The second is, the competition.
Let’s have a look at the first. Googles chief aim in search has always been to give the user what they’re looking for as fast as possible. When a user searches for a guitar to buy online or an address of a business Google wants to deliver the most useful up to date information to that user so that A) The user finds what they’re looking for and B) The user remembers and comes back to Google next time. To this end the big G tries to index as much content as possible from the web as frequently as it can so it can keep presenting fresh relevant data.
However, there are some questions that Google can’t answer no matter how fast it is. Answers that depend on constantly updated information such as weather conditions, sports results, reactions to public events and breaking news. Social sites like Twitter and Facebook hold the key to this information. Those sites users are constantly volunteering information about anything and everything. By gaining access to Twitters stream of constantly updated info Google can provide real time search results to answer up to the minute queries. How Google plans to sort out the relevant from the irrelevant and the worthy tweets from the spam will be interesting to see.
The second reason for Google shacking up with the blue bird is the competition. Microsoft’s Bing has been gaining market share since its launch and has also struck a deal with Twitter and Facebook to integrate its feeds. You can check it out at Bing Twitter. Microsoft also owns shares in Facebook so a Google deal with Facebook should be off the cards. With it’s only possible search competitor getting access to such a bounty of real time information Google couldn’t miss out on access too.
So what impact is all of this integration going to have on SEO? If you weren’t on twitter before then there’s certainly no excuse not to be now. It’s another way of getting into search results so that should give a lot of companies the impetus to get involved.