Early last year, Google and Twitter formed a partnership giving Google full access to the Twitter firehose, meaning that it could once again provide real-time tweets in search results as it once had.
Have you found this relationship to be a meaningful improvement to Google search thus far? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The two companies shared a deal years ago that led to the creation of an actual real-time search feature in Google results. This provided scrolling results from Twitter and a variety of other sources for timely searches. In 2011, however, the companies failed to renew their deal, and the feature went away as a result. It was clear that while Twitter wasn't the only source of real-time content, it was the most important (by far).
As a result of the real-time search feature going away, Google's search results suffered.
It was interesting then that in 2015, the companies were once again reuniting as Twitter needed more traffic to grow its user base as a public company - something it continues to struggle with.
Google's new implementation of Twitter is significantly different than its previous real-time search feature. Now, Google shows tweets for people and organizations and/or topics as it deems necessary.
Stone Temple Consulting has been keeping an eye on how much indexing of tweets Google really does, even since before the partnership went into effect.
Back in the summer, they saw a 466% increase of indexation of tweets less than 7 days old between February and June. This was based on the over 900 accounts they track. While the increase was "massive," the percentage of tweets was still pretty low at 3.4%. It showed that Google was continuing to index more and more tweets, but still a relatively small slice of the available Twitter pie.
This week, Stone Temple is talking about its findings again as Google has made a small, but potentially significant change to its Twitter integration.
Stone Temple's Mark Traphagen on the takeaways of the firm's findings.
The aforementioned new tweak to Google's Twitter feature, as spotted by Dan Barker and reported by Search Engine Roundtable, adds a "View on Twitter" link to the individual tweets in the search results. This is a clear call-to-action to view this content on Twitter, which is precisely what Twitter gets (and needs) out of this deal.
Google have amended their Twitter integration a bit - they've added a "View on Twitter" call to action on Tweets. pic.twitter.com/F85wPgJEjm
— dan barker (@danbarker) December 31, 2015
If Google expands the presence of Twitter search results it could also lead to increased traffic and followers to individual Twitter accounts. For those it's already indexing, this will almost certainly be the case.
This of course feeds right into that concept described by Traphagen as the more visibility that Google gives to an account, the more that Twitter account itself is likely to benefit. The more that Twitter account benefits, the better shot it has at gaining additional visibility in Google.
Do you think Google's Twitter integration will ever have a significant impact on the little guy? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Image via Wikimedia Commons