Twitter deciding to nofollow links 2 years ago really annoyed me.
When they decided to close all loopholes in creating an active link within the bio area, it prevented me linking to my disclosure policy – that annoyed me as well, especially with all the terrible attempts of providing adequate disclosure within paid tweets that are currently being used/proposed.
There was a huge outcry from the SEO community.
Matt Cutts came back with a decent response on how his interchange with @ev went that might have influenced Twitter’s decision to nofollow bio links.
Here is an excerpt
Forget the bio link, I think the web site link should be regular. Actually, I think all the links should carry weight. Twitter is my microblog. Why can’t I point at what I want to with authority, just like I do with a regular blog. If my twitter home page has earned a good PR score because people point at me, then I’ve done what Google wants — provided good content that earned that value, just like with a real blog.
Then of course there are the Twitter “blogrolls” which used to link unfairly to the early Twitter adopters by default, and now list the most recent people someone is following.
That PageRank score for many was because they were early adopters followed by other early adopter. In many cases people didn’t truely “earn” the PageRank passing links they were receiving.
The new system to be quite honest isn’t very good either, though I suppose Twitter could claim they optimize the system for those who follow 30 others.
Even so Twitter ranks highly for vanity searches due to the internal linking, but the content you create just disappears into a black hole of terrible navigational structure.
Apparently I have tweeted 4656 times over the last few years, and whilst I had an account very early, it probably took a year before I was tweeting on a regular basis.
I haven’t gamed followers, just handled things quite naturally following people who I found interesting and engaged me in conversation.
Despite ranking highly for vanity searches like [Andy Beard], Twitter SEO really sucks.
Google has only picked up 1320 of my historical tweets
Even worse only 8 or 9 pages depending on whether you use /* or AOL are likely to be in Google’s primary index.
You also can’t rely on Twitter’s own internal search to find your historical tweets.
One option taken by many is to use a WordPress blog to archive their tweets, which is a fairly good solution. There are also tons of other microblogging platforms which can be used for syndication of Tweets, or even the origination point, but many have various problems similar to Twitter, or have limited financial resources to stay alive unless they heavily monetize your content.
The option I have taken is to use Tweetglide as I wrote about recently in my initial Tweetglide review
My interest with Tweetglide isn’t the AIR application, though I did pay for an upgrade and I will be doing a lot of testing of the advertising potential in the future – my initial testing was interesting but a little biased due to the topics and Tweetglide was a “new shiny object” thus had tons of new users, and very few had worked out how to use the advertising yet.
I was seeing unrealistic traffic, effectively $0.015 per visitor.
Not that the AIR application isn’t pretty good – it is, and also has some geeky aspects that are quite exciting for developers with an upcoming API that allows you to create addon features.
However on a day-to-day basis I am more inclined to just open a web browser. I have never run any Twitter AIR application extensively.
Tweetglide SEO – Pumper Or Index Engine
Anyone who is in Stompernet will know about pumper sites, but I am sure it will be covered extensively in Link Liberation / SEO Brain Trust, and Howie Schwartz covers this kind of thing with interlinking of Web 2.0 sites and other content in Link Wheels.
Lots of courses cover similar topics though often with slightly different strategies, levels of automation etc.
Whilst not everything I have suggested to the Tweetglide development team has been implemented yet, they have done a huge amount of work in quite a short amount of time.
I am not going to go into all of the details of what has been done and the reasons why, or elaborate too much on what will hopefully be done in the future.
The most important things for SEO, especially for any Google engineers listening in
- Isolation – each Tweetglide blog is on a subdomain now rather than a page on the parent domain. This for me was important from a trust perspective. Any link on a Tweetglide blog is effectively there because the author added it editorially.
Maybe you will get situations where some people are selling sponsored tweets and there may need to be some detection of known hashtags to add nofollows, but give the devs a chance – no one else syndicating tweets would even think about the need to do that.
My Tweetglide blog is isolated from other Tweetglide blogs unless I am interlinking through conversation, citation etc.
This is something that was vital to have Tweetglide behave like Blogspot or wordpress.com – Twitter stupidly didn’t use subdomains from the start, I suppose they could switch and do tons of 301 redirects.
- Pancake – I love pancakes here in Poland, normally with cottage cream cheese and a sauce made from blended frozen strawberries – I also SEO websites to have a flat linking structure to encourage crawling of as much content as possible.
Tweetglide is pretty flat – flatter than most blogs and it shows in the way it is already being indexed.
What difference does this make?
Tweetglide has only been running for just over a month, and they haven’t pulled in backdated tweets, so the total number of pages on my Tweetglide Blog is 252 – actually that indexation has only really happened in the last 2-3 weeks due to the switch to subdomains.
The number of pages in the primary index varies a lot more between /* (50) and AOL (21-22) but is still already significantly more than achieved on Twitter, and it is early days yet.
My results are probably not typical at this stage, because I wanted to compare with my Twitter account I poured a lot of juice from my sidebar into my Tweetglide blog for the last few weeks.
Search traffic at this stage has been almost zero, but that is what I expected – there are some things that will improve that for the long-term, but a Tweetglide blog needs to be treated as any other index driver / pumper and given some love.
The important part is that pages are being indexed and hopefully that will continue.
There are bugs – I actually just noticed one more with the RSS feeds – the title for each item in the feed needs to be taken from the tweet, otherwise when syndicated the anchor text will always be Item #1 for the newest tweet.
Other stuff the team are already aware of such as the need for feed discovery.
When you sign up, if you say you are an online marketer you will be offered various advertising options – if you take up the offer I get an affiliate commission. If you say you are not interested in marketing, you won’t get the offers on signup and just get to use both the AIR application and Tweetglide blog for free.
But that isn’t why I am promoting Tweetglide
Currently when a blog post gets tweeted, there is a ton of link activity, but most of it is pointless – sure there is some link equity passed between Twitter profiles, but I have already demonstrated how worthless that is.
Most sites syndicating Twitter content have messed up SEO from an author’s perspective – there isn’t a strong symbiotic relationship.
With Tweetglide the links have value… every single damn one of them. You have links between profiles that actually help with Tweetglide blog indexation, links directly to content from multiple subdomains that are real editorial votes, and once that minor bug with the RSS feeds gets fixed those RSS feeds will be great for further syndication.
The RSS feeds have the links in as well. Perfect for your link wheels, juicers, pumpers or however else you are mixing your content.
Google is free to take every Tweetglide blog based upon it’s own merit, just like a subdomain of blogspot.com or wordpress.com
My primary motivation promoting Tweetglide (and helping them with some SEO tips) is to help people but in so doing help myself as it sure doesn’t hurt having a few hundred readers signed up to Tweetglide who subsequently tweet the occasional one of my posts, or just strike up a conversation with me, as all those links count.
Disclaimer: Only Google decide which links count and even if they appear in webmaster tools that doesn’t really mean anything – I haven’t done statistical testing of the links – my personal understanding and intention is that they will be solid “whitehat” editorial links and nothing I suggested as far as SEO tweaks, or that Tweetglide are doing to my knowledge could be looked on as “naughty”
Marketers:- If you do upgrade, it is best to drive traffic to pages that contain some kind of specific desired action/goal, and it isn’t hard to tag any links from Tweetglide advertising with a tracking code.
SEOs:- Tweetglide Blogs just like other pages won’t be indexed by Google if you don’t link to them