The results of the deal Twitter struck with Google to include tweets in search results has finally begun to manifest itself publicly. In a blog post last night, Twitter announced that tweets would begin to appear for select search results within the Google App and the mobile web, with desktop search inclusion promised shortly. For now, this is strictly a US deal but more countries will be added in the coming months.
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I, of course, took a quick look to give you some quick thoughts about how tweets are being displayed on mobile. Here’s what we found:
Use Images In Tweets
If you’re not using images in your tweets, now is a good time to start. In this example of a #MadMen search, you can see that your eye is naturally drawn to the Vanity Fair tweet with the large image while the tweet next to it is far less prominent because it uses no image.
Tweets Indexed By Google In Real Time
You’ll see from this screenshot that our most recent tweet was timestamped with “14 secs ago.” While I didn’t conduct a scientific test, it does appear Google is indexing tweets in real-time. We do know from the past Google/Twitter deal that Google has indexed tweets in real time in the past, so the company is eminently capable of doing so technologically.
How Tweets In Google Searches Work
As you can see in this screenshot, tweets are rendered in chronological order and displayed in a carousel format, so users can swipe through them to read earlier tweets.
Tapping on the Twitter bird icon in the carousel will bring you directly to the tweet in question, tapping on the image will render the image in full screen mode within the Google app, and tapping on any links in a tweet will take you to the linked-to content.
This screenshot shows what the entire page of search results looks like for a search for Karwoski & Courage. As you can see, the Tweet Carousel appears at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind that this is a personalized search result (note the Google+ posts), so results will differ. Search Engine Land reports that the Tweet Carousel may appear at the top, or even middle of the page of search results.
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It seems logical that trending topics would get top placement and that brand searches would get bottom placement.
I tried searching for a couple of global brands and no Tweet Carousel was included in the results, so it isn’t included by default. I would expect that the frequency and recency of tweets from an account would play a role in whether or not the account gets displayed.
Mobile Voice Search
If you want to optimize your tweets for search inclusion, one thing you’ll need to think about is what are the likely keywords your target audience will be using in voice-activated searches? As you can see from this screenshot, the Google app is pointedly designed to accept voice input:
How social contributes to search visibility and how search leverages social signals is a topic we’ve been studying for years. Contact us if you need help making the most of the two.
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