Twitter and Google have been quite an item. We watched as their romance blossomed with the first Twitter update in real time search. We applauded as Twitter updates began ranking for keywords in real time and occasionally in standard search. But now the happy couple is splitting up, at least in the real time search sense.
So what happened between these two? Well, apparently without much warning Twitter decided to stop sharing its Tweet data directly with Google. There was nothing that Google could do except close down the service, as the majority of it was Twitter dependent.
The content in Topsy is the only Twitter archive left standing. For those of you who know, Twitter does not make archived Tweets readily available. This has created issues for many people running Twitter contests based on retweet numbers, especially if they are new to the marketing strategy.
What Does this Mean for Search Engine Optimization?
Well, as you may or may not know, Twitter links in Google’s real time search were followed in the past. This was an excellent addition to SEO link popularity. According to Danny Sullivan this is no longer the case.
“One big change is that tweeted links are back to being nofollow — IE, not passing link credit.”
Sullivan went on to Say.
“In the Twitter firehose, links didn’t have nofollow attached. That’s a lot of link juice that’s just evaporated. It’s unclear what the impact will be for publishers and Google alike, yet.”
As of right now this is all very new and it is important not to make any rash decisions as a result of the update. Bing still has a Twitter indexing presence and so do many other search engines. Furthermore, Google can still crawl Twitter directly to index Tweets, it just may take a bit of development time for them show results in a favorable way.
It would seem to be in Twitter’s best interest to continue some type of a relationship with Google, especially one that influences SEO. This move by Twitter is a bit of surprise to everyone because the two entities appeared to be working well together. SEO Inc. will be keeping an eye on this development and will continue to do testing on our own. As of right now we recommend Tweeting as normal.