Twitter Deal with Google: A Win For the Social Web

Twitter and Google have reportedly reached a deal to provide Google with access to Twitter’s entire database, including near-real-time tweets, essentially reviving a 2009 deal that lapsed in 2011.
What impact will this have on the universe?

In our view, the deal is not insignificant. For marketers, the Twitter-Google integration crystallizes intuitive principles of contemporary content and social marketing. Common-sense principles of developing a social presence and building a reputation get a needed shot in the arm. In addition, this should provide our Findability team (and similar marketers) with guidance on prioritization; we’ve long felt that Twitter was a high-quality platform essential to sharing content and updates, but we’ve been uncertain as to the wider benefit.

So not only will tweets be more likely to show up in search results, we expect that over time, the reputation and relevance signals inherent in third-party tweets about a site or page (or other object) will be worked into Google’s overall ranking algorithm. Not overnight, but surely things are heading in that direction.

While Google never acquired Klout, recall that it has been building out its social reputation analysis capability, in part by acquiring at least two social reputation analysis firms. One of these was a popular service called PostRank. It’s quite likely that Google maintains a whole squad of engineers devoted to solving social signals insofar as they might influence the broader ranking logic in Google Search.

On social signals such as those provided by Twitter and Facebook, Google has by all accounts moved cautiously, and with good reason.  Attempting to layer the chaos of new and spammable signals on top of an already monumental indexing challenge buttressed by link analysis will be no easy feat.

In essence, their algorithmic mix has been behind the times, continuing to put weight on legacy signals – like outdated links, “built” links, and even some remaining faux links that have slipped under its spam-detection radar – that don’t truly reflect the natural contemporary process of indirectly conferring reputation on a company through tweets, shares, likes, pins, and reviews.

For those of us who take a holistic, integrated, and thorough view of Findability, Google’s enhanced access to Twitter data provides validation. Here at Page Zero, we’ll continue to help clients build a foundation of “core technical SEO,” but it’s essential that marketers move beyond this. That’s what Findability is all about.