John has stated many times before on this blog (and elsewhere on the Internet) that if you live by the Google, you’ll die by the Google. Even so, it’s undeniable that ranking for your most treasured and most valued target keywords and keyword phrases is a bold endeavor that can bear some very lucrative fruit. To this day, searches in Google continue to be one of the biggest traffic sources for Beyond the Rhetoric and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.
Google + Twitter = ???
You’ve likely also heard and been told countless times before that social media is incredibly powerful and remarkably valuable for your online brand. That’s why it’s important to monitor all of your social media mentions and act accordingly, exercising damage control as necessary and engaging with new customers and readers at every opportunity.
But what happens when these two factors come crashing together. After a lot of talk and hearsay, Google officially announced via its blog that tweets would now appear directly in Google Search on mobile devices.
When you perform a search on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll not only get the usual search engine results page. You’ll not only get relevant images and news. But you’ll also get tweets retrieved from Twitter in real-time, giving mobile users immediate access to up-to-the-moment reactions through the Twittersphere.
The Rise of the Mobile Web
We already know that Google is making a big push into the mobile space, most recently giving a very strong push for mobile-friendly websites. You can satisfy that recommendation with a mobile-optimized theme or with a responsive theme.
We also know that Google has continued to make a big push for the importance of so-called social signals. Even if your page isn’t necessarily SEO optimized, even if it doesn’t have the most natural backlinks, you can get onto the first page if you rack up the mentions on Twitter and Facebook. The more online chatter there is about your brand, the more likely you’ll get ranked.
This most recent shift with Tweets to Google Search further solidifies that position. If your Twitter account is popular and it is deemed to be noteworthy, it’s more likely to show up in these Google search results on mobile devices. That expands your brand presence, which could result in more tweets, mentions and backlinks, which could further bolster your SEO performance.
How Does This Work?
It has been said that regular people don’t really care about Google+, but website owners and online businesses do. That’s because you can garner some really valuable SEO juice through the “social signals” of Google+, assuming that you’ve optimized everything for that social network too. The Tweets to Google Search feature continues that trend and further elevates the importance of staying on top of Twitter.
The whole Tweets to Google Search feature works on two levels. First, someone searching for “[brand/company/organization] Twitter” will get real-time content from the associated Twitter account. That’s if someone already knows your company. Perhaps more important in this context is the second level: if someone is searching for a topic, they’ll also get real-time tweets related to that topic from the Twitter community.
What this means is that it pays to stay on top of timely conversations and trending topics. It’s not enough to target the evergreen keywords (which you should still do); your tweets need to stay current. This way, they’re more likely to show up in these searches and — you guessed it — they’re more likely to help you grow your brand presence and expand your audience.
For the Average Joe surfing the Internet on his iPhone or Android, seeing tweets in the Google Search results may seem like a convenience or a nuisance. For the online professional, it represents a monumental opportunity that should not be ignored.