SEO and Twitter just don’t mix.

Is Twitter being optimized?

Earlier today I received a tweet in my timeline from Adrian Chan who posed an interesting thought. If Twitter went the way of Google and decided to find a way to optimize tweets so that they could be found easier, how would we SEO them?

Well I think that’s a wrong way for Twitter to go – and not just Twitter but everything relating to social media. There are many ways to optimize your site and web presence, but for social media, it’s not all about promotion. Rather, it’s about authenticity and conversation. The invention of this web 2.0 phenomenon is all about getting companies and individuals to open up and share what’s going on in the world. It’s user-generated content…raw and uncensored. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in this social part of the World Wide Web and now for us to sanitize it through search engine optimization, that would defeat the whole purpose of making things…well…social.

Let’s look at it from a company or brand standpoint. In the old days of marketing, companies were always trying to pitch things to businesses or sell their wares to any customer. They would try and optimize their websites and have big call to action buttons that would just scream right of the page “BUY! BUY! BUY!“. When you looked at their site and emails, you just knew that you were being hunted for your money. But now enter in the world of Web 2.0/Social Media. Don’t let the marketers fool you any longer because this new generation of web technology has allowed you to fight back and spread the word on their pitches and unoriginality.

So now brands are starting to inflitrate these areas to make their case and show that they’re the cool guys that just want to talk and not pitch customers. They’ve supposedly “learned the error of their ways”. Right? Well if Twitter becomes more focused on SEO strategies, then I think that we’ve just taken a step back. Imagine that a company like Virgin Airways or Dell places more emphasis on promotional copy on Twitter than simply talking to their customers. So rather than having the public relations or marketing departments typing away as they normally should and showing that there is a human side to the company, they’re going to control what message they want to say? I think that’s outrageous and wrong. Do not constrain your brands thinking. The goal is free thinking and strike up a conversation.

Are you more interested in having your tweets found or influencing more of your followers? What’s the purpose of optimizing your tweets? All your information that you want to share, whether it’s your photo gallery, blog, website, email, etc. should all be optimized there not through a tweet. It’s just another means of getting your message out into the void. Stop worrying about tweaking everything out there that you’re creating just so you can get more promotion. I’m not saying that you should do any optimization with social media, but there are better ways that trying to further sanitize 140 characters just to have it show up on Google or Twitter Search. Besides, doesn’t Twitter Search rank things according to timestamp?

Stop trying to nit pick at everything you produce. If it’s in social media, focus on engagement and dialogue. SEO is better left for another strategy. There’s just some better ways than by through Twitter.

Ken Yeung Avatar

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4 responses to “SEO and Twitter just don’t mix.”

  1. gravity7 Avatar

    Ken,

    Hey, I am with you 100% on this. As you know, I periodically tweet a test balloon of some kind to see if it gets any altitude before it either pops, drifts off, or is blasted out of the heavens. I don't want to seo my tweets any more than you. But I would do it, just now and then if it meant attracting twitter followers and other social media geeks interested in social theory, web 2, ux, and so on.

    The last sentence was optimized.

    But twitter could surely go the Google route. Tweets are pages. Followers, @replies, Rt's are all page-rank, in-bound and out-bound links, and so on. If tweets were searchable, one could find twitterers of value and relevance. Who wouldn't want to advertise alongside those search results? You're advertising on people, not pages – it's web 3, the people web!

    I would prefer then to have yellow tweets for commerce. As yahoo did with its yellow pages, back when we had to drill down through directories to browse the web. (I date myself.)

    All twitter has to do is add some basic profile pages, and wa-la — it can outdo fbook. It would be a social network built on conversation and talk instead of face pages. Built on speech, not on image. Maybe not for everyone, but many of us are conversational. Twitter is our network. Twitter is the talkies.

    Of course, twitter would change dramatically, and would have to roll out some features to make talking to, and reaching people, more easy. M for mobile? DC for conferencing w/ groups (direct conferencing). Things that help people talk. Front and back channels, private and public, and so on. Meta. Envelope info like urgency, priority. I like the threading now available in search — is that not a sign of things to come?

    Twitter's exploding right now and it just seems like a no-brainer (much as the original twitter will always have been better). It's already unusable on the phone for heavy users. Searchability is next, and if twitter goes that route, the seo gang will be here sooner than we can tweet it.

  2. Fawcett Boat Supplies Avatar

    SEO and Twitter mix very well. I find them to be natural partners if used properly, which is to say that Twitter can be used as a means for increasing the ROI of online spend. I don't see optimizing tweets as a very productive pastime, but when you combine the useful aspects of Twitter with good SEO, you get more bang for your buck.

  3. gravity7 Avatar

    Ken,

    Hey, I am with you 100% on this. As you know, I periodically tweet a test balloon of some kind to see if it gets any altitude before it either pops, drifts off, or is blasted out of the heavens. I don't want to seo my tweets any more than you. But I would do it, just now and then if it meant attracting twitter followers and other social media geeks interested in social theory, web 2, ux, and so on.

    The last sentence was optimized.

    But twitter could surely go the Google route. Tweets are pages. Followers, @replies, Rt's are all page-rank, in-bound and out-bound links, and so on. If tweets were searchable, one could find twitterers of value and relevance. Who wouldn't want to advertise alongside those search results? You're advertising on people, not pages – it's web 3, the people web!

    I would prefer then to have yellow tweets for commerce. As yahoo did with its yellow pages, back when we had to drill down through directories to browse the web. (I date myself.)

    All twitter has to do is add some basic profile pages, and wa-la — it can outdo fbook. It would be a social network built on conversation and talk instead of face pages. Built on speech, not on image. Maybe not for everyone, but many of us are conversational. Twitter is our network. Twitter is the talkies.

    Of course, twitter would change dramatically, and would have to roll out some features to make talking to, and reaching people, more easy. M for mobile? DC for conferencing w/ groups (direct conferencing). Things that help people talk. Front and back channels, private and public, and so on. Meta. Envelope info like urgency, priority. I like the threading now available in search — is that not a sign of things to come?

    Twitter's exploding right now and it just seems like a no-brainer (much as the original twitter will always have been better). It's already unusable on the phone for heavy users. Searchability is next, and if twitter goes that route, the seo gang will be here sooner than we can tweet it.

  4. Fawcett Boat Supplies Avatar

    SEO and Twitter mix very well. I find them to be natural partners if used properly, which is to say that Twitter can be used as a means for increasing the ROI of online spend. I don't see optimizing tweets as a very productive pastime, but when you combine the useful aspects of Twitter with good SEO, you get more bang for your buck.

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