Twitter... A Waste of Time! ???
Last week it came to light that Google and Microsoft once again were doing battle over a large amount of internet territory. Except this time it wasn't Verizon Wireless (Verizon are a huge american ISP), but rather who would become the search partner for Twitter! Now we (in the Internet business) have long known Twitter has to find a way of making money and so far it hasn't found a way, because any appearance of banners (it is felt) would could users to switch off! There has been attempts for users to make money, mainly through "be-a-magpie" . In theory magpie is fantastic! tweets are made based upon your own tweets and the themes of them... this is based on a similar technology to that used by both Google (powered by Yahoo!) and Microsoft. The only issue is its simply not popular enough!
From this we find the battle of Google and Microsoft for the ability to be Twitters "Search Partner" (aka deliver the search engine adverts).
So with these two snakes in the grass battling I ask "What effect will a take over by Google or Microsoft of Twitter have on SEO?"
Microsoft Takes Over Twitter!
If Microsoft occupy the search advertising of twitter, my guess is that we will find Google starts to decrease the value of twitter in its search rankings. Of course Microsoft will increase the rankings it has. But as Google are the largest and most used search engine I believe this would cause a decrease in traffic from Google/Twitter... Now I can hear you asking "links from Twitter make a difference to Google?"
Well yes they do, search a link such as the BBC or ITV and you will find somewhere in the top few pages a tweet with the URL! search for "andykinsey.com" and its up there on the first page! So yes tweets do matter to Google. Do the same on MSN Live search and you aren't likely to see a tweet in the top 10 pages of rankings if at all.
Will the decrease in search value for Google of Tweets make a differnce to your business? In short, yes and no! your hits from google may sink if you rely on twitter for business, however if you are using twitter alone to generate business then I doubt it would cause that much damage to your business.
Google in a Twitter Take Over!
So Google have now taken over Twitter! Instantly hits from Google for Twitter business people are up! Not long after we begin to notice adsense for twitter users and adwords swiftly follows for advertisers of a general nature (naturally big businesses will get first claim!).
In the long term hits from Google go up, and individuals get a real (meaningful) search ranking from Google. This means that maybe the more popular a person (more followers) the higher the rankings... but hang on. There is a problem in this... it means more fake users, millions of them causing false results for Google... this will need to be sorted asap (before google take over!).
OK so being serious now. It means in general a higher ranking for links on twitter, it means a higher ranking in general for people linked on twitter (just as it does to some extent from digg.it), But more than this it will mean Google get an even bigger control over the market they already have a monopoly over! It means Google will be in much more of a controlling position of the Internet technology world.
Regardless of who takes over (be this Google, Microsoft or some other party) and becomes the "search partner", aka becomes the twitter advertising service. My belief is that Twitter will quickly loose its value for business people. Less will take up using twitter, less people will use the search feature and less business people will see it as a worthwhile venture during work hours. So ...
How do you think a take over will effect you (and your business) on twitter? Leave a comment and let us know!