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By B.L. Ochman

Google marries Twitter

As the result of a deal announced May 19, Tweets have begun to show up prominently in Google’s mobile search results on Android and iOS. Google says that desktop integration is coming soon.

The impact on your brand’s search results could be significant. Google will take your social participation into account when determining your influence – a change not to be taken lightly.

Here are seven tips to help your brand make the most of the Twitter and Google search integration:

Note: Google search results from iOS search using Google app are interspersed throughout this post.

  • Use high-value keyword phrases and #hashtags in your Tweets.
    Google results will not show all Tweets, only those that its algorithm deems relevant to search queries.
  • Wrong: If your Tweet announcing a free webinar on video editing says “sign up for our free webinar” it would not show up in search results on the topic.

    Better: “Free webinar: learn video editing” and a photo and a link.

    Result of search on Yankees

    Result of search on Yankees

  • Don’t use Twitter as a broadcast medium
    When you use a third party app to schedule the same Tweet several times, you will decrease your chances of your Tweet showing up in search unless someone searches directly for your company name.

    In that case, people searching your name on Google will see your repetitious stream and know that you are using Twitter to broadcast, not to engage.

    I just stopped from posting that my B.L. Ochman Daily is out, because I don’t want those daily, repetitive Tweets to dilute my search results.

  • Results of search on my name

    Results of search on my name

  • Post regularly – but quality is more important than quantity
    Haven’t posted in a long time? Your most recent Tweets – even if they’re a year or more old – will show up in Google search. Doesn’t exactly make you look like you’re on top of your game.
  • Use images with every Tweet.
    Tweets with images are prominently featured. You will need to size them to the correct dimensions for best mobile display.
  • Follow and comment on Twitter’s trending topics.
    Google’s announcement says Tweets in Google searches are “a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”

    That seems to indicate that when your brand Tweets something relevant to a trending topics, your Tweet has a greater chance of showing up when that topic is searched. Including an image increases the odds even more.

  • Results of a Google search on #POTUS

    Results of a Google search on #POTUS

  • Monitor your Twitter stream closely and respond quickly
    Monitor your brand for negative comments and respond quickly. If you are responsive, people seeing the search results will see that you care, you engage and you make an effort to resolve issues.
  • Think before you Tweet!
    What goes online stays online. Even if you blame it on the intern, as brands are so fond of doing, your Tweets won’t disappear – especially if they’ve been ReTweeted or Favorited a lot.

    Twitter’s blog says “Even if you delete Tweets, Google and other search engines cache search results, which means that occasionally old information is still searchable. Although Twitter changes your settings immediately and deletes Tweets immediately, these changes don’t erase old information in Google’s search index.”

    Initially, only U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and we have plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months.