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How Does Twitter’s SEO Affect Your Brand Management?

Twitter has been infamous for its bad site infrastructure for a long time1. Its dynamic links and duplicate URLs have resulted in bad, or at least ineffective, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for many of its users. As a result, Twitter has affected personal brand management by making Google give lower page ranks. Although this affects directly only people, affiliated business can suffer indirectly by not receiving their maximum SEO.

Since 2011 Twitter has had standardization issues, which has resulted in multiple URLs showing or redirecting to the same personal account. However, as Google indexes every single one of these different links, the personal page rank (for the name or nickname of the Twitter user) is diluted, so the Twitter account falls into later SERP pages.

It is easy to check whether your Twitter account is affected by this mismanagement of URL structure2. Simply search for your name and look for the Twitter account – if the URL has suffered dilution, you will find it on the third or fourth page – or later. There are certain characteristics giving away bad Twitter links. First of all, non-www links are canonical while the www ones are 301-redirected. Furthermore, Twitter makes use of both http and https links. To make matters worse, some accounts feature the @ while others have a “/” slash at the end. Although it makes little sense, capital and lower-case nicknames are indexed differently. Additionally, Twitter uses subdomains for its different language user groups, such as .en, .es, .it, .de, and others. And if that wasn’t enough, there are duplicate Twitter accounts with different IP addresses.

Fortunately, there is a way to deal with Twitter’s infrastructure issues and enjoy good SEO – use one canonical link from all links so that the profile’s Page Rank is not diluted. This main link must have https and lower-case letters and must not have “www”, the @ sign, slash at the end, or hashbang (/#!/). When building the link on your website, use the rel=”canonical” tag.

Assuming the previous problems have been solved, Twitter can greatly improve your SEO efforts and brand management campaign. Search engines have long since incorporated the social media into their SERPs and page rankings3. As such it is no longer enough to simply have a Twitter account with some followers and automatic updates to enjoy the benefits of “Author Authority”. This phrase refers to the authority a person, or writer, has in Google’s eyes, and that authority is transferred to articles and links they share, write or retweet. For example, if a renowned SEO specialist like Kristi Hines4 writes about or shares something, that link will receive a huge Page Rank boost.

There are many factors which influence Author Authority so it is necessary to make constant, concerted efforts to achieve a high ranking. Facebook and Twitterare the two most influential social networks5 so it pays to have an active and interesting account with many followers or friends. Again, it is important to engage with others and attract others with informative content. About 25% of the AA is by the number of followers, following to followers ratio, date of account creation, affiliation with powerful websites, engagement level and posting regularity. To influence the other 75%, a user must create viral content which will be shared on multiple media and across geographic space; have diverse and unconnected media profiles; accurate link descriptions and anchor text; and links being shared or tweeted in the appropriate context.

The benefits from solving Twitter’s bad SEO issues and fully utilizing the media platform’s capabilities are immense. Not only will they boost the Page Rank of your website but secure a constant traffic flow.

References:

  1. http://searchengineland.com/how-twitters-technical-infrastructure-issues-are-impacting-google-search-results-86229
  2. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-twitters-bad-seo-affects-your-brand-reputation-management
  3. http://www.bitrebels.com/social/how-to-improve-your-seo-with-twitter/
  4. https://twitter.com/kikolani
  5. http://cdn.bitrebels.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Social-Media-SEO-Infographic-2.jpg

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