There’s a new phenomenon in the blogging world, and it’s called microblogging. Well, it’s not really that new, but then it’s only quite recently that its popularity took off in the social media world, with networks like Twitter and Jaiku. The concept here is that you’re asked to answer the question what are you doing right now? in up to 140 characters. It’s like blogging, but you’re limited to a few short sentences. Your updates or “tweets” (in the case of Twitter), then, appear on your friends’ Twitter clients or Twitter home pages.
Now what does this have to do with Google? It’s link building. I know Google gurus have eschewed this concept because for them the best search results are those that are organic (meaning no optimization is done). But this won’t stop people from thinking of new ways to game the system.
The Blog Herald has an interesting read about Twitter being used to optimize for searches.
With the newfound popularity of microblogging/presence networks like Twitter and Jaiku (and a host of others), these may well be the next haven for people looking into optimizing their sites for search engines. For instance, Neil Patel at Search Engine Land recently wrote that Twitter can be used not just for messaging, but also to generate traffic, particularly since Twitter allows for embedding links in tweets. Plugins like Alex Kingâ€™s Twitter Tools even automate things for WordPress bloggers. You can set it to post a tweet automatically every time you publish a blog post.
Secondly, Twitter status pages themselves are starting to get indexed by the search engines, and I would think many of these have been getting good Google PageRanks on their own. To illustrate, the twitter.com home page has a PageRank of 8/10, which is considerably high. Robert Scobleâ€™s Twitter page has a pagerank of 5/10, while my own Twitter page has a PR of 4/10.
It is highlighted that even Twitter tweets and updates are sometimes getting the top spot in the search results. Perhaps an effect of twitter.com’s pagerank trickling down on the status pages?
Twitter is also being used by some bloggers as their linkblogs. Doing so, the links don’t only appear on their status pages, but also on the friends status pages of their Twitter contacts. This means the more friends you have, the more pages your links will appear under the twitter.com domain.
So this means spammers may soon discover how to use Twitter to their advantage.
Anyway, here’s one warning to GT readers who use Twitter. Don’t just haphazardly add friends to your Twitter list. I know I’m sometimes guilty of this–I sometimes befriend all my followers in one click (there is such an option). But what if I’ve accidentally added a spammer? Sometimes it might not be too obvious at the start, but later on, spammers might be using my Twitter account (the “me and friends” updates page) for their links. I can remove them later on, of course.