Thursday, 26 March 2009

Blogging, Twitter and SEO

There is a raging - and not particularly interesting - debate about the value of Twitter for search engine optimisation. In short, people wonder if Twitter has any value for optimising your website because:
a) it depends on shortened URLs which don't build up link value and
b) Google places 'no follow' tags on Twitter links

The debate is dull because no-one knows how Google works (and those that do won't say) so people are groping in the dark.

However, I can report this:
a) that I have a wordpress plugin that reproduces my Tweet on my blog. I did this because I update Twitter more often than I blog
b) on some occassions, those Tweets have (unintentionally) added keywords to the page. As a result, people have searched for an unexpected combination of words which has revealed my blog at the head of a small part of the long tail.

For example, I recorded my concern about Conservative donations and mentioned large Tory donor Michael Ashcroft. A couple of days later I Twittered about Allen Stanford's arrest. My blog was therefore prominent on the search results for "Michael Ashcroft and Allen Stanford" to satisfy anyone looking for information about the two men.

I can't recommend this as a strategy per se: the volumes are too low to be able to research the keyword frequency. But there are circumstances where Twitter can help your SEO strategy.

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