The Twitter retweet code places a link to Twitter on every page you include it, and they didn’t add a nofollow to the link . It is quite possible Google will decide to ignore all these links in the future, especially as it is effectively hidden and not a “vote” for a particular page. The destination of the link doesn’t show similar information to what is in the button.
The button has no historical count of tweets as is clearly evident if you search for tweets on something “historical” such as an individual domain. If I added a Tweet button to my home page the link through to search for Tweets would be something like this.
3. Count Accuracy
If I glance back at Shaun’s post, the tweet button currently says 23 Tweets – clicking the button to see those tweets results in only 17 tweets showing.
Here are just the influential Tweets counted by Topsy, half of which Twitter hasn’t found even though they actually use the button to submit their Tweet.
Lets look at those links for a second
Topsy uses a permalink – there will be a permanent record of all of those Tweets, and their history goes back a long way, and even copes with 301 redirects to some extent if you change your permalink structure. I haven’t experimented with this extensively, but that has some useful potential for marketers adding parameters to links.
For Twitter the link is one of their funky search URLs which uses a # named ancor that is ignored by search engines – Twitter search is totally unreliable, and only has a 7 day history – do you think you are going to have a record 1 month, or 1 year down the line?
5. Broken Retweets
The new “expanded” links on the web interface get truncated – if you retweet using copy/paste links will quite often end up being broken.
This is a subtle way of enforcing retweets using their “new” official retweet method which still isn’t as popular as Twitter would like people to believe.
It also defeats the purpose… you can’t see the whole URL, sneaky redirects or affiliate tracking parameters, and for many URLs might even hide what the URL is actually about, or where you might end up.
Shaun is pretty hot on W3C validation of websites though maintaining it on content that is being published in response to news is a challenge.
One of the problems with the original Tweetmeme button was validation so I am hardly being a validation nazi here.
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hobo-web.co.uk%2Fse o-blog%2Findex.php%2Fnew-twitter-button-conveniently-without-nofollow- attribute%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0
Twitter decided to invent their own link attribute – that sucks – they will never manage to get that accepted as valid code, as it is proprietary to them and doesn’t serve any purpose. This was one of the major complaints against rel=”nofollow” which took 4 years to get any kind of official acceptance.
He who has most data in online marketing often has a huge advantage. By adding the official Twitter button they suddenly gain a whole load more information about who visits which sites, which can be tied into their member profiles.
I can’t currently see a reciprocal benefit in Twitter having access to that data.
I left Twitter 6 months ago because I felt they were holding my own content hostage and demanding a ransom from other search engines to access the data.
As a concrete example, when Matt Cutts first mentioned evaporating PageRank and the “reset vector”, there was a fair amount of chatter on Twitter, including some tweets from me. You won’t find those conversations now .
So why would I give them more data directly?
They have no respect over your content, my content… anyone’s content
Use Topsy – they have much more accurate tracking of tweets, handle 301 redirects pretty well and even give you some really useful historical Twitter data for a whole domain.
Here is Andy Beard on Topsy – that is a vote.
I am not saying everything is perfect with Topsy – they are not doing silly stuff with Robots.txt but their nofollow of links is inconsistent and might benefit from a threshold based on authority and an understanding of first link priority.
There is only one significant benefit of the new official retweet button, you can now define retweet text, which is something I wanted Tweetmeme to include a year ago .
Combined with custom URLs in theory you can use that for split testing – in practice I don’t think it is going to work as there is no way to define a canonical URL, plus a URL that gets tweeted with a URL decorated with tracking parameters.
Thus the new Tweet button sucks for marketers even 1 year on.
Just adding a test new button that has been modified manually
As text link:
Test without defining the title
As text link:
With Nothing Defined
As text link:
A Shortcode Test
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