Saturday, January 24, 2009

Twitter for SEO?

There's no doubting that Twitter is huge, and is going to get even bigger in 2009. When recent troubles broke out in Gaza, CNN used Live Twitter reports from people inside Gaza to update their newsreel, and the recent plane that crashed in the Hudson river in New York had another Twitterer sending minute by minute reports of the rescue mission. Micro blogging sounded like it would never work, but it's working incredibly well.

However if you ask me, Twitter for SEO is a bit of a no-goer. At least in my experience so far for my site and clients. Part of the reason is that it's a bit like Facebook, but quicker, and Facebook is used primarily for social interaction - keeping up with friends, checking out thier photos, etc. There are many company pages you can become "fans" of, but those pages with the most fans that aren't people, tend to be funny niches like comedians, or films, etc. Twitter is much quicker, even if I do seem to find error pages almost all the time I'm on there?!
Barcelona SEO - Twitter Error Page
With regards SEO, you can drop links (via tools such as tinyurl) all day long if you like, and build up your home page to gain a decent PR (Page Rank). Then you also have a url on your home page which would technically be a great 1 way, high PR link.

There's just one problem. All the links are nofollow. So for all the hard work and "original content" that you're making, same as your blog, there's no SEO benefit. I can see twitter being highly addictive, and there are some great add-ons which make it possible to become even more addictive, but I think time spent on Twitter with regards link-juice is a waste.

Where I think Twitter would really work, would be branding and gaining real customers, if you have something really interesting to say about your company. If you simply follow people so that they can see your tweets of links, in the hope that one might click, then that's spam for me (which is why Matt Cutts, and the Google Spam team decided to add the nofollow attribute, I guess). This was also highlighted in a Guardian.co.uk article a while back (sorry, can't remember the link). The article highlighted how good Twitter would be in a specific location, due to it's speed. It used Barcelona as an example, and said that if someone was visiting Barcelona, and had a PDA/Iphone, etc. they could tweet people about Barcelona and receive real-time replies about places to go, events on that particular day, restaurants, etc. The author made the analogy that if you searched "Barcelona" on Twitter, there was a few random posts of people in Spanish, and then one particular agency (who I won't name) that replied to everyones tweet with spam messages about their Barcelona apartments.

For me the jury is out, as I think time could be better spent commenting on dofollow blogs, article writing or other such activities. I'd love to hear some positive stories about your Twitter experiences however, so please feel free to comment.

Barcelona SEO Training from Barcelona SEO tackles all types of social media and the possible impacts on your business. Please contact me for more details.

3 comments:

Search Congress said...

HOla,
Me gustaría destacarte que es verdad que los enlaces son no-follow, pero en un evento como http://www.search-congress.com, el congreso de buscadores que comienza pasado mañana miércoles en Barcelona, un día de tráfico se distribuye así:

1.(direct)/(none)1,358
2. google / organic 908
3. lavanguardia.es 588
4. corriere.it 115 periodico italiano del grupo elmundo
5. anieto2k.com 106 blogger portavoz y ganador de un premio en congresodewebmastsers
6. twitter.com 59
7. facebook.com /55
8. search-congress.com 54

¿El trabajo seo no pretende conseguir enlaces para situar la web en buen lugar y obtener visitas? ¡Pues con twitter las obtienes directamente!

David Brydon said...

Hi Search Congress - I hope everything is ready, and I wish you all the best of luck. Thanks for the comment, and extract from the web traffic. I think for a congress or event it's totally different, and I would definitely use social bookmarking sites, and Twitter to get the message out there, as it's a one-off event, not a product that you're selling.

Hola Searchcongress - espero que todo esta en pie y os deseo mucha suerte, por cierto! Gracias por comentar. Creo que para un congreso o evento unico es diferente, y que yo definitivamente usaria todos las paginas de social media para hacer que se conozca el evento, ya que es un unico evento con una fecha que "caduca" - y no un producto.

Anonymous said...

David
I would also have to disagree in part. I totally agree with you that it is a waste of time in many respects.
The links may be NoFollow BUT the organic traffic can be huge and so large and also smaller companies are gettign significant traffic through Twitter. It can generate a LOT of traffic for a site.
Great blog though and very informative. I love reading your blog. Keep it up.UK SEO.