Google Live Twitter Feed Observations

Google Live Twitter Feed Observations

I just got home and decided to google my name. I know what you’re thinking but I tell myself its for SEO purposes!

This is what I found: A live twitter feed from my twitter account on the SERPS for the search term ‘wai hong fong‘.

My immediate reaction was OMGOSH, I’m important enough for google to consider adding a twitter feed of me to the SERP. I quickly went and googled my favourite people at SEOmoz like Rand Fishkin, Danny Dover and Gillian Muessig and nothing there! So I thought, well I just tweeted recently like couple of hours ago, so maybe google only puts it there when there’s a recent tweet. So I googled some of the other people I know who have had recent tweets but nothing still!

Alright, so I decided I should try a little experiment with the system, on whether we can spam the SERPs by creating a whole bunch of dummy accounts? Or in this case, 1 dummy account 😛 I used two accounts, my @waihonger account and @ozwristwatches.

@waihonger had 1065 tweets, been around for about 1 year or so, 73 followings, 153 followers and 10 listed.

@ozwristwatches had 0 tweets prior to the experiment, 0 following and 3 followers which were prolly just spam bots.

They both made tweets at the same time with the words ‘Wai Hong Fong’ in them, and they both appeared in the ‘latest results page’.

However, only the tweets from the @waihonger account appeared in the SERP as a real time twitter post!

So I decided to try another experiment and try to rank for something more trendy. For that, I decided on ‘north korea attack‘ and ‘north korea shells‘. Again both accounts would post with those key phrases in the tweets.

Same thing happened! @waihonger’s tweet got indexed and appeared on the SERPs, while @ozwristwatches’ tweet got indexed but DIDN’t appear on SERPs!

Some pictures of the experiments here

The mini experiment seems to indicate that Google does apply a certain form of checking / filtering / ranking towards a twitter account.

Some ideas of what may be taken into consideration(very similar to SEO ranking factors in my opinion):

– Ratio of Following / Followers (@waihonger 73 / 153 VS @ozwristwatches 0 / 3). I’d imagine accounts with 10000 following / 50 followers will not score well.
– Age of account (sounds like domain age)
– Engagement between other users (how many other ppl have @ the account)
– Quality of users following you. I have @brentdpayne, @dannydover and @seomoz following me! Those must count for something.
– Number of tweets? (@waihonger 1065 tweets VS ozwristwatches 0 tweets) – a bit dubious on this one.

What do you guys think? Any SEO / digital marketer know of any other tests that have been done on Google live tweet feeds? Keen to know!

Wai Hong Fong
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