Today we are going to face an avalanche of Technology bloggers who can’t help blogging about every intricate detail of Twitter in one way or another claiming that Google has devalued Twitter profiles in the search engine results pages (SERPs) or reduced the PageRank of profiles.
Whilst this is theoretically possible, it is also unlikely.
To understand why the change has happened
- You have to understand SEO, external and internal linking, and have an advanced knowledge of how PageRank works. This gives me another chance to drop a very blatant affiliate link to Stomping The Search Engines 2 which is probably the best value (just a measly $1) high quality SEO training online. (http://andybeard.eu/Recommends/SEO-Training.html)
- You need to study Twitter Linking structure over a period of time – snapshot SEO is for cowboys – even what I am writing here isn’t going to be highly accurate, because I don’t have access to analytics, server logs etc, and telling a script to analyse every page of Twitter just isn’t viable
I am not writing this just for another opportunity to pimp an affiliate link, but I am sick of poor SEO information out there among bloggers. I have suggested SEOs need to clean up old information, but to be honest, this is about as fundamental as it gets.
I do have a fair understanding of SEO and linking structures, and I do monitor changes, not just the pretty toolbar PageRank Google updates every 3 months or so, or the ranking of my Twitter profile in the SERPs.
Here are a few of my more recent tweets on the topic:-
Changing account name and retaining some of your link juice
@ed Good to see the move accomplished – you might do well to fill up a page of tweets to yourself from Next Instinct (best of ed) = links
A little basic SEO training
In case SEOs are forgetting something, external links+indexed pages = PageRank – content quality irrelevant
The president would not be happy if I could game an indented listing
It should be very easy to make any twitter account appear as an indented listing of a high profile twitter user e.g. Barak Obama
Twitter making changes to Meta Titles was not an April Fool’s joke, but the titles for individual tweets is far from optimal
If you add your twitter profile to every place you get links for your blog, of course it is going to rank high
Whilst I might have followed people, that isn’t necessarily a vote
Little minor details affecting individual tweets, and maybe overall profile rankings due to the recent “replies” changes
@BradWest unfortunately that solution isn’t, as you lose the “in reply to” links
So What Changed At Twitter?
Quite simply, the default blogroll links
Previously they were based on 2 criteria
- You had to be following the person
- They were displayed in account creation order
Thus popular tech bloggers who had early beta access to Twitter, plus Twitter founders always made up a high percentage of the default blogroll links across the whole Twitter network.
Even accounts with just a few thousand followers would have a high pagerank if they were created early enough, because they most likely followed a few high profile Twitter users such as Robert Scoble, and Twitter founders, so they gained the benefit of very powerful links.
How Is The Twitter Blogroll Calculated Now?
I wish I knew so I could work out how to take the best advantage of it – seems almost random, other than you have to be following the person.
What I do know is that is still doesn’t represent my personal choice of the best people to follow, and all the links should be nofollow unless I can determine who can be included.
The PageRank formula isn’t complicated math, but it gets applied recursively for the global internet, which is one of the reasons why Google needs huge banks of servers.
Google calculates PageRank constantly – rankings based on it and 200+ other factors change constantly
What appears on the Google Toolbar (Toolbar PageRank) is
- Just a rough approximation
- Can be manually overridden by Google in the case of a penalty
- Is only updated every 3 months
- Looks to be linear progression, whereas the real numbers are logarithmic in nature
Have you noticed how PageRank updates frequently happen around the same time as Google Engineers are at conferences?