The SERPs are Alive with the Sounds of Microblogs

by Dave Snyder October 1st, 2008 

Lately the search engine results pages in Google have been alive with the sounds of Microblogging platforms.

I have come across quite a few long tail, non-competitive search queries as of late that have actual individual utterances from platforms such as Twitter and FriendFeed in their top ten results.

It seems as though a mixture of domain trust, freshness of content, a wealth of inbound links, and a cap on all outbounds has created an environment on these sites that allow even small amounts of content on individual events pages rank well in the big G.

Let's look at some examples and see what is taking place.

1. Search Query = 15 Services for Finding Parking Spots

2. Search Query = New Microblogging Site

Notice that Twitter and FriendFeed approach their individual utterance pages differently.

Twitter links to the individual updates from the linear profile timeline. These links pass equity from the user's profile page. Looking at the individual tweet pages you will notice that the title tags created begin with Twitter/Username: and ends with the first 28 characters of the tweet itself.

FriendFeed puts the full feed update in the title tag.

Why is any of this important?

Because it makes not only your profiles on these networks, but also your individual entries on the sites powerful players in your SERP battles.

In theory, by optimizing your tweets and FriendFeed updates you can effectively rank for long tail traffic generating terms. Should your Twitter feed become a string of 65 character tweets designed for search?

No.

But when sharing valuable news or information you should keep the long term repercussions in mind.

The same goes for online reputation management. As helpful as these indexed tweets and updates can be, they can also be destructive, giving historical evidence of reputation blunders.

Delving deeper into the index you will see that Twitter feed updates seem to be time sensitive, not lasting very long unless having some link equity shooting to them directly.

Run a search for your updates to see what is out there. Use this query " site:twitter.com/username/statuses/. Mix in keywords, site:twitter.com/username/statuses/ + keywords, to look for specific tweets.

FriendFeed updates seem to last a little longer. It does not seem possible to search the update history by user, but you can search the whole of the indexed pages through the query, site:friendfeed.com/e/ . Again you can mix keyword specific elements into the query to search for specific historical data.

Some will likely state that the presence of this information in the SERPs is moot, since that information is available via search applications such as search.twitter.com.

However, it is important to remember that over 85% of Internet users utilize search, and Microblogging platforms are still on the fringe of the mainstream. This means that your utterances have a lot of fuel in the engines that they don't have in a platform specific search application.

This is a concept that as a search marketer I will continue to monitor. Twitter has recently turned itself into a link juice reservoir, turning off all outbound links. As the service grows in popularity, and as the site balloons with link juice, I can't help but wonder how powerful these individual utterance pages will become in the engines?

The precedent has been set with Wikipedia for how a social media site responds in Google when all outbound links are capped. And it is undeniable that the possible long tail search traffic is enough to make Microblogging companies scurry to solve the monetization question.

Dave Snyder is co-founder of Search and Social. He has shared his expert opinion on micro blogging earlier on Search Engine People in Microblogging: The Internets Best Brand Advocate Builder

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14 Responses to “The SERPs are Alive with the Sounds of Microblogs”

  1. Utah SEO says:

    Good post Dave. Goes to show how important microblogging is to online reputation management.

  2. I don't think microblogging has a place in search engine results. Most of it is pretty useless information!

  3. SoLinkable says:

    I'm slightly confused (I'm still new at all this SEO stuff)… How useful is this reputation? How will this help others to become involved in my blog?

  4. Metaspring says:

    Now I'll be humming that track from Sound of Music all night. But that was a very enlightening post for me.

  5. Michael D says:

    I delete a lot of tweets before I click the update button, simply because my industry keyword is attached. Sometimes I think I should have a secondary account for ranting but what would be the point since no one knows it's me. Guess I'll have to keep some level of restraint for the reasons you mentioned above.

    Any mu microblogging wordpress sites out there?

  6. kouji says:

    interesting. didn't know google treats microblogging with this much respect. will have to make a few changes to my twitter use then. thanks for the heads up.

  7. Very detailed and informative post from which I have learned a lot. Thank you. Can you just clarify one small matter? What is meant by ballooning with link juice?

  8. Jeff says:

    I find Twitter a powerful and user-friendly tool, thanks for sharing detailed information with us.

  9. Danny Cooper says:

    The ranking for certain terms I search for are fluctuating like madmen. My blog name is one of them, sometimes I'm seeing twitter right at the top, other days technorati, its really crazy.

  10. Chris Lang says:

    Actually Google has been treating social bookmarking sites like this for years.

    Digg, Propeller, Mixx and Sphinn have all been showing up in Google for years especially under niche terms. In fact, I can dominate all 20 results under a niche term with social media. When you Google certain terms I am tageting I will be all 20 top results in every different form of social media.

    Many people ask me "Why would you want to be all 20 results, isn't #1 good enough for you?" Sure, #1 is great but I just drove 19 of my competitors out of the results, eliminating the competition.

    Howie Schwartz has been doing this for a while too, I am just a little more organic whitehat than others are. This strategy works great, just don't let anyone sell you on using submission software for social bookmarking or use socialmarker.com. That is not the way to do it.

  11. Amit says:

    That is a nice post, the friendfeed and the twitter links will also drop in serps really fast.

  12. great comment Chris and great post, very informative

  13. It is quite interesting to see certain phrases of words that are attempted to be taken over by certain search engine individuals. A phrase like "going to the river" may later be dominated by a person that wants that search traffic. A

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