Twitter: More Vital for SEO Than Ever Before?

Recent changes to the way Twitter interacts with search engines could be the key to getting your content crawled quicker,

Nowadays, you can’t escape people telling you that social media is crucial for a business of any size – but even for companies that love to get social and interact with their followers, it’s easy to favour one social network over another.

Google+ has instant search benefits, Facebook tends to have a great clickthrough rate and Instagram will likely garner more likes and comments than the other two combined.

So, for me at least, Twitter – once the byword for social media for business – became a little less of a priority for me. Sure, it’s great to be able to interact with particular customers or followers, but the benefit in terms of traffic was often minimal.

However, recent changes in the way Twitter interacts with search engines might well place renewed emphasis on the platform as a tool for SEO.

Historically closed-off from the likes of Google and Bing, Trevor O’Brien, Twitter’s director of product management, recently revealed Twitter made a change earlier this year to allow Google and other search engines to crawl its top 50,000 hashtagged search pages

The result? Twitter now gets ten times more traffic than it did last year. And for a site with 284 million active users, that’s a serious increase.

But what does that mean for you as a business?

Well, not only does it mean that dropping a link in from your site to Twitter is now more valuable than it was twelve months ago, but it also means that your content can be found and crawled quicker.

The most popular 50,000 hashtags fluctuate on a moment-by-moment basis, so you can bet your bottom dollar that Google is constantly crawling this monster directory of hashtags almost constantly.

So, if you see something trending (or even something you suspect has been trending recently, will stay relevant for a while, or will trend in the future), get on your Twitter account, and drop a Tweet with a link and a hashtag to your site!

It can be frustrating to feel like you’ve missed the boat on certain ‘trends’ – such as curated hashtags like #BedfordHour or #SEOChat – but now we know that those hashtags will be in that list of 50,000 most popular Tweets, you have a good excuse to post to them even if it’s after the fact – especially if the content you’re linking to has only recently gone live.

Getting content crawled quickly is half the battle; and now we have Twitter in addition to Google+, RSS feeds and Google Webmaster Tools, businesses and bloggers have more weapons at their disposal than ever before to help win some traffic.

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