How to Game the New Twitter Searchby Kent Lewis on May 7, 2009Search Engine Optimization
Shortly after Twitter announced a partnership with bit.ly – a URL shortener that also follows the links and analyzes the content on the site – Twitter announced the intention to upgrade Twitter Search. Twitter plans to (gasp) crawl links included in tweets and (gasp again) begin to index the content of those pages.
Clearly, Twitter is enjoying its new partnership.
You have to admire Twitter’s approach. By opening their technology to the world, Twitter is able to cherry pick the tools that will lead them to profitability. A dash of Summize here, a sprinkle of bit.ly there, possibly add a few tools that rank a Twitter user’s influence, let it simmer, and voila a search engine to rival Google (well, atleast Yahoo & MSN). How long until Twitter buys one of the ranking search engines Tweefind, Twazzup, or Twitalyzer Search?
As a search engine marketer, the obvious question to ask is how am I going to game Twitter so that my account & links rise to the top (again, this is a game).
The early implications from the Twitter camp are that the search engine will use a reputation ranking system, likely referring to number of retweets and followers (similar to those listed above), and so it is a good idea for marketers to start working to increase their measured influence now.
Secondly, Twitter will continue to measure trends and take that into account when displaying search results. Search engine marketers can take advantage of trends by creating and linking to relevant topics on their own site. As an Anvil team member recently pointed out, skilled marketers can take advantage of current events.
Finally, marketers should become familiar with bit.ly and Reuters Calais. Bit.ly is the engine in this search engine, and so understanding how it analyzes content on the linked page is essential. I highly recommend following them on their blog, and if you happen to be a VC, jumping on the bandwagon and investing in the startup is a good idea.
Reuters Calais is the tools that parses the content on the linked page. Calais represents a huge step into the semantic web and is also worth becoming familiar with.
Similar to Google, Twitter will evaluate web pages based on links, the authority of the linker, and the content on the linked page. The main difference -albeit a huge difference – is that instead of PageRank, Twitter will be ranking users. Rather than trying to get links from authority sites, we will be looking at getting links from authority users (Digg-esque) and more importantly, will be looking to become authority users ourselves.
Time to start tweeting.
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