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Trick or Tweet!

PumpkinCarving-RavenHappy Halloween everybody!  As you can guess from the title today we’ll be talking about Twitter.

Twitter has gone through some major changes this week and I’m going to talk about how that effects SEO.

First, let’s talk about the Twitter “trick.”  There are people out there that don’t believe Twitter is a useful tool, let alone a useful business tool.  Consider this comment:

I tried twitter 8 months and found it to be nothing more than rss, but worse: mostly spam

so go ahead and hype it up some more, you are a sukker like other media who believe twitter is somehow great

Obviously this commenter wasn’t following the right people.  If I get spam, I unfollow.  If I get too much stuff, I unfollow.  Consider it an instant and trustworthy opt-out list.  If you try it, it’s easy to either stay subscribed or get out.

I’ll admit many people haven’t figured Twitter out yet and that includes businesses.  The question we have to ask is Twitter a gimmick and does it present a tangible return on investment (time).  Are we being tricked by using Twitter?

I don’t think so and I believe the events of this past week prove it.  First of all the announcement Bing would index Tweets was made.  The next day Google announced similar news along with a social search function.

While the experiment isn’t quite live yet, it would seem that from the video below made by Google’s Matt Cutts, Social Search, at least at first, will be able to include results from Twitter, FriendFeed, Picasa, Blogger, and Google Reader.

When I opened up Twitter this morning, I saw a new feature:  lists.  Lists aggregate like-minded content together and they’re searchable.

Twitter Lists are exciting because curation of dynamic sources is exciting. This is a particularly accessible way to do what syndication geeks have been thrilled by for years.

If none of this made sense to you, let me explain.  Twitter lists are like a digital news or feed reader.  You can create your own list to follow topics you’re interested in and categorize them.  Until now, this wasn’t possible with Twitter.  This feature will cause more people to adopt Twitter as an information tool and they’re searchable through Twitter and Google.

The impact to search engine optimization is simple.  If you’re not Twittering useful content, you won’t be found.  Use hashtags and your keywords in tweets and you will open up a new channel of potential clients and referrers.

I think this a great treat, Halloween or not.  If you’re a business, ignore Twitter at your own peril.

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  1. October 31, 2009 at 3:43 am

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