When Google and Bing announced that Tweets may appear in their search results my first reaction was – this opens a whole new field for experts to sell services on how to optimise your site for Twitter or more relevantly your Twitter account for search engines. I wondered what people would say if they were told they need to pay an “expert” to optimise their Twitter account. Many people are already sceptical of “social-media marketers” because of the mixed bag of skills and approaches.
But over the last few days the whole idea of how Google (and Bing – but I would doubt they will have where near the same analytical clout that Google will approach to whole phenomenon) might determine when or which Tweets are shown in search results.
Surely simply the number of followers would not determine whether a Tweeter has more relevant Tweets than another.
Luckily, I found a great article the other day by Debra Askanase called The Case of the 4,000 Twitter Followers Who Don’t Care. In this article Debra analyses a Twitter account and finds that very few of the 4,000 followers are actually engaged with the person they are following.
Over the past few days I have really been thinking about what makes a Tweet worthwhile to appear in search results and is there anyway that you could in fact optimise your Twitter account so that your Tweets were considered more relevant. In answer to my prayers I found a website called Twitalyzer which goes a long way to devising a measure of how valuable your Twitter account is.
Twitalyzer comes up with a rating of influence out of 100. This rating is calculated based on:
- Your relative reach in Twitter, measured by the number of followers you have
- Your relative authority, measured by the number of times you are “retweeted”
- Your relative generosity, measured by the number of times you “retweet” others
- Your relative clout, measured by the number of times you are referenced by others
- Your relative velocity, measured by the number of updates you publish over a seven day period
Would Google use an algorithm similar to this in which they determined some “optimised value” of a Twitter account and therefore the influence of the Tweets? After all the Google algorithm is supposedly moving away from just counting links to looking at the actual value of the page giving the link through analysing everything from the anchor text to the actual text on your page and the linking page (Latent Symantic Indexing). In social media linking I would think that an even more developed algorithm would look at the “influence”, I guess, of the person sharing the link not just based on their physical following but generally based on the value of everything they say. For example, many people have built up large followings on Twitter by actively hunting out people to follow or using automated services. These users tend to have very large followers and followings. Other users such as Robert Scoble simply have thousands of people hanging on their every word (not withstanding that for a long time Scoble followed everyone back who followed him, which he later re-engineered).
These are jut thoughts – in the meantime, I have a new personal goal, which is to improve my own Twitter influence rating according to Twitalyzer (I am supposedly crap) – although they do recommend that I dramatically increase the number of Tweets I do and that is not going to happen. I am only going to say stuff that I think my followers will be interested in.