Google Are Now Displaying Real-Time Tweets In Search Results

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As a long-time user & avid fan of Twitter for a little under 5 years now, I always feel disheartened when I hear “Twitter?.. Oh, that’ll be gone in a few years”. A quick Google search leads you to believe that everyone except for me seems to severely lack confidence in the future of Twitter’s existence. That’s why I jumped for digital joy when I stumbled upon the new Google rollout last Friday – Google now display tweets directly in your search results.

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For the last few months, Google have been displaying tweets in mobile search results, hinting at the possibility for tweets to be integrated with desktop search as well. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering Google+’s supremely slow uptake and the removal of Google Authorship. At the moment, the majority of searches are only showing the official Twitter accounts of a branded search term, but there are a few other factors that contribute to tweets being shown in the results.

If you search for something that has a popular hashtag aligned, you will sometimes be able to see tweets relating to the search query being shown. Also, if you are searching for a topic that is currently trending, you will also be shown tweets in your results. But what does this mean for us as marketers?

Having a results page full of tweets not only knocks off a few page one places, it also means your brand’s twitter needs to be up-to-date and relevant. You wouldn’t want someone to search for your product brand only to be shown pictures of cats (well, unless you sell cat food). There is also some negative benefit if people are searching for terms such as ‘great hotels’ and there is a negative twitter hashtag or trending topic showing up against your brand. This means brands will need to keep avidly aware of the ‘Twittersphere’, and make sure they are monitoring conversations around their keywords and search terms.

Google are of course, constantly trying to evolve their search offering to provide users with the most relevant search results possible. This is why partnering with the real-time social behemoth looks to be a great decision – providing users with up-to-date social snippets for their searched term. Keep in mind though that this is just the first step in the new partnership. Google will most certainly be looking to further involve tweets into their search functionality, including listening in on both positive & negative conversations about your brand. If this change comes into play, brands will feel the significant impact of having their ‘dirty social media laundry’ hung out to dry in front of any fresh searchers.

By Joe Davine – Head of Marketing