<< by on June 8th, 2010
This morning I attended the Twitter, Real Time Search & Real Time SEO session at SMX Advanced, although I had to come in a little late, so I did miss some information. Here’s what I was able to glean while I was there.
Unfortunately, I missed the presentation by Stew Langille of mint.com.
Next up was John Shehata of Advanced Internet, part of Conde Nast. John covered the ranking factors for real-time search. John explained that each engine has its own “secret sauce”, but often they can be similar to page ranking factors for SERPs.
Real time search is focused on author quality + site authority + relevancy. Google includes Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Buzz, YouTube, TwitPic, news sites, FriendFeed and more.
New ranking signals for real time include:
- user authority
- microblogging freshness
- number of followers
- quality of followers
- ratio of followers in contrast to how many you follow
- URL real-time resolution
- number of people retweeting what you said in the last minute, hour, day, etc.
User authority is not about how many followers you have. It’s about how reputable your followers are.
You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you and then you follow someone — then even though this [new person] does not have lots of followers, his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves widely followed.
John recommended using Twitalyzer to look at statistics around authority. Ironically, engagement is not a factor in ranking in real-time search.
Other possible ranking factors are (or may be):
- recent activity — how often you tweet
- user name (keywords might help)
- age of twitter account
- external links to your twitter from other sites
- tweet quantity
- ratios of followed vs. follow
So now what? First check that you are in the firehose. How? Go to Twitter.com and search for “from:” followed by your account name (ex: from:janetdmiller). If you can’t find your feed in Twitter search, it’s not getting to Google.
Limit the sharing options to the top ones that lead traffic back to your site. John recommended limiting sharing options to five. Make it easy, too, to have your readers share links, tweets, status updates. Encourage retweets by tweeting 120 characters or less so you can allow for the RT and username.
- produce content that appeals to social-saavy audiences
- employ content that encourages new users to engage socially
- don’t update multiple accounts — retweet instead
- connect your social profiles
- attract reputable, topically-related followers
- monitor and track hot trends/buzz
Some tools include:
- Google Hot Trends
- Google Insights
- Google News Suggest
Look for seasonal trends and build your editorial calendar around it.
Chris Silver Smith
Last up was Chris Silver Smith of KeyRelevance. He discussed tools and first emphasized that you should develop your Twitter strategy first. Because it can seem a bit overwhelming, Chris focused on both Static and Smart Automation.
Chris showed an intelligent agent from the yellow pages that allowed you to tweet a question to (like a restaurant suggestion) and get an answer as one example of an automated Twitter account you can create.
He also said that you can discover the consumers who are asking questions about what you offer. For instance, if someone tweeted “Does anyone know of a cheap hotel in Florida?” you can auto-tweet them back with an offer. He recommended that you customize the API to indicate something more meaningful. In an example using deals in geographic regions, like Denver, the tweet appeared to be coming from Denver instead of somewhere else.
He also recommended using Twitter lists as an effective way to target more granually with a larger Twitter account.
Some tools he recommended for auto-updates are:
He mentioned using Google Trends and Google News to see topics as they become hot by gleaning the RSS feed. He mentioned too that the average Twitter ID is about 9 characters long. So keep that in mind and leave some space in your tweets for retweeting. He also encouraged to include a call to action in your tweet.
Special characters may also help grab attention in your stream (like a heart, musical note, etc.).