As previously reported SEOmoz has acquired Twitter analytics company Followerwonk. CEO Rand Fishkin said in a blog post announcing the deal that the companies have actually been working together since June.
Followerwonk is a tool designed to help users find, analyze and optimize for "social growth," and that means digging into Twitter analytics (who your followers are, where they're located, when they tweet, etc.), and finding and connecting with influencers. Fishkin sees an opportunity to bring his SEO-savvy customers this kind of data, which can help them in their SEO endeavors, which are obviously not getting any easier these days.
"I see Twitter impacting a lot of relationship building, which often leads to partnerships, links, referrals, and business development of all kinds," Fishkin tells WebProNews. "We're also seeing a very observable correlation directly between URLs/sites that are heavily mentioned on Twitter and enhanced performance in the search results."
"Whether that's a direct or indirect results is harder to know, but plenty of examples and evidence certainly exist," he adds.
Google's Matt Cutts actually talked a bit about social signals at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francsico this week. He briefly touched on Google's relationship with Twitter data, since the deal the two companies once had fell apart last year.
According to a paraphrased account of the conversation from Brafton, Cutts noted that Google can't crawl Facebook pages or Twitter accounts to see who is reputable or has real world impact as a brand. Brafton's account of Cutts' words continues:
People were upset when Realtime results went away! But that platform is a private service. If Twitter wants to suspend someone’s service they can. Google was able to crawl Twitter until its deal ended, and Google was no longer able to crawl those pages. As such, Google is cautious about using that as a signal – Twitter can shut it off at any time.
We’re always going to be looking for ways to identify who is valuable in the real world. We want to return quality results that have real world reputability and quality factors are key - Google indexes 20 billion pages per day.
SEOmoz may just be able to help users identify who is valuable in the real world, using Twitter data, thanks to its new acquisition. Fishkin noted in his announcement, by the way, that they may add Google+ and/or Pinterest data into the mix at some point.