Back in our second Mid Week Marketing Mix in April we were very fortunate to have special guest Eric Enge from Stone Temple Consulting join us on the show. One aspect that was briefly touched upon in the live Hangout discussion was about the signals from Twitter and Google.
From what we have understood thus far is that the Google/Twitter deal (which came out in around early February this year *updated info in the final section) is that Google will be able to access Twitter’s Firehose of live tweet data.
As we all know, Google has a tendency to not disclose a lot of information when it comes to deals or search updates for example, and many from the search community in particular have questioned how the search giant will use this firehose data.
From what I have read from the likes of Search Engine Land is that Google look at over 200 signals that are linked to factors such as region, content freshness, and site terms that determine a search’s unique set of results.
The deal is huge for Google and once again gives them a competitive edge, as not only will they be able to access a monumental amount of real time tweet data, they will be able to rank tweets using various metrics. So how will they be able to do this? The search company will take into consideration the following parts (below) that will help them assess the signals and ranking factors.
The use of trending hashtags and keywords are indicators on “what’s hot” on the micro-blogging platform, this helps Google signal breaking news in real time.
In addition, the increase and decrease of a hashtag’s usage will also be taken into consideration and will determine the level of importance of any news headline.
It has been speculated that Google Trends will incorporate live trending tweets.
Google will look at a few factors that will determine the strength of tweet. Favouriting a tweet indicates the relevance of a certain tweet, it doesn’t have such an impact with the likes of retweets but can to some extent show a correlation of the user’s interest(s).
Retweets are a major factor as they enhances a tweet’s visibility and reach and indicate to Google that that certain tweet that has been retweeted by a greater number of users is worth exposing and has the potential to rank high in search.
Another two metrics that the search giant will take into consideration is link clicks and video plays. Link clicks can give a valuable insight into the popularity of a site when looking at traffic referrals from Twitter. It has been mentioned that the Twitter link data will be combined with what Google already understands about a certain site’s metrics such as the number of links to a specific page. With regards to video, I am assuming this would be very similar to a YouTube video that has been shared when looking at the analytics on a Youtube channel.
Google will take into consideration an influencer metric, it can be said that this metric is seen as passive because it does not relate to specific tweets and cannot indicate whether a topic trending or provide relevancy. On the flipside, the influencer metric might be used to distinguish certain tweets which tweets to show in search based on the scale of a Twitter user’s follower ratio.
The Firehose Is Open – Now What?
Before I actually got round to finishing this post it was revealed that the deal has been confirmed. So what does this all mean? In my opinion it is still unclear as I still think there are still many questions on what other metrics Google will be using. However, a huge standout from this deal is that it will be huge for business and individuals to become even more “social” than ever before. Once more information comes out on the metrics this should be part of every businesses’ marketing arsenal from looking at works and what doesn’t.
For the time being I recommend being diverse with your content on the micro-blogging platform from utilising the likes of video to help increase your reach to using Twitter cards to help increase your website traffic.