As a deal between Google and Twitter takes effect, Google has started to index a greater percentage of tweets, according to research carried out by Stone Temple Consulting.
The deal, news of which broke on 4th February this year, saw Google agree to make 140-character updates more searchable. The search engine giant was given access to the stream of data generated by Twitter’s user base, which numbers some 284 million, enabling tweets to become visible in search results done on Google the moment they are posted. Prior to the deal being agreed, Google had to crawl through Twitter’s feed for content, but now it is visible automatically. From the point of view of Twitter, the agreement with Google ties in with a policy by the social media company of getting tweets seen by more non-users of the platform and of getting a larger slice of the online advertising revenue pie.
Initial research carried out by Stone Temple Consulting showed that Google was indexing tweets at a particularly low rate – a mere 0.6% in February. However, follow-up research, done between February and June, shows a far larger increase in tweets being indexed – a massive 466% rise within the first seven-day period. It has to be accepted that the number of indexed tweets is still equivalent to just 3.4%, leaving a massive 96% plus of tweets that are not being indexed, but the percentage increase over the course of four months is an encouraging step in the right direction.
The latest findings from Stone Temple Consulting tie in with previous research, which indicated a major bias towards those Twitter accounts with a high number of followers or which have a greater level of “Social Authority.” The Social Authority label takes into consideration the level of engagement by followers with the account in question. The suggestion is that Google is taking into account more than just the number of followers of an account in selecting which tweets it intends indexing.
Stone Temple Consulting’s findings for both February and June used the same user set, numbering 900 plus. The Boston-based firm is a digital marketing services provider with a roster of clients from around the world.