Las Twitter. What Happens Here Does Not Stay Here
It was less than ten months ago that I re-arrived on Twitter. I say re-arrived rather than arrived, as the first time I glanced at it, it made zero sense. I was used to "simple rules and regulations" as had been set forth by facebook and other such social networks. I really didn't give it a lot of credence to Twitter at first.
At the same time, how could I ignore it? Every television or radio interview eventually seemed to lead to Twitter, and more times than not it was being mentioned in newspaper articles as well. There had to be something to this rather benign cyber-monster that was beyond my comprehension. So I decided to give it a little more time and this time ask questions. I am glad I did so as it led me to persons, many of whom are still my close friends, and even business associates, and I tend to meet new people right away. There are a few things to know about Twitter (or any other social network). It is not the cozy quiet, static personal e-tool that it appears to be. What you type on Twitter does not stay there. In fact, it often appears on Google, MSN, Yahoo, and other search engines rather rapidly, sometimes within hours, depending on fast those particular spiders are operating on the day one is twittering. This can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
For instance, as of this writing, I have almost 7,000 followers. I only communicate regularly with maybe 200-300 of them. I have discovered that Twitter, like any other social network is not too unlike a microcosm of our own real life community. There are people with similar likes, dislikes, values, morals, ethics, and you name it.
A lot of twitterers falsely believe that it is "all about getting more followers", when, in fact the opposite is often true. The real key is to find like-minded followers, and, even though be spontaneous in one's conversations on Twitter, also have some prepared keyword-rich tweets with a backlink (Google and other giant search engines love this) to be tweeted on a fairly regular basis. Google likes "like"; that is, they like to "see" you conversing with others with like-minded values, causes, businesses, interests, etc. as, to the Google-bots, it is noted that you are talking to others within your realm of knowledge. This can actually help pull up your site ranking as your words leak off of Twitter onto Google (and other major search engines).
The reason for the importance of the backlink to your page or particular product or service is so that when someone finds you on Google; it will not necessarily make the Googler click on the Google link, only to take them to your Twitter page; where they will have to click yet again, if they can find your backlink on your profile, to find out more information. Most would rather move on with their web surfing than take so much time. If you include a backlink, more often than not, Google and others will include it in the indexing allowing others to click directly to your site and/or blog. If you have a keyword-rich tweet along with it, all the better, as it helps the potential client know they do not have to go to Twitter, find your link, and yet click on another one (and perhaps even another one to find the particular product or service for which they are looking.
Though Twitter has become an important tool in the entire SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process, it is but one tool. To make it one's only tool is a big mistake. Though it may "rule" for the moment, what rules better is a combination of Twitter, Facebook blogging, article marketing, PPC (Pay Per click advertising), bookmarking, blog pinging, and a myriad of other elements that are ongoing. Did you know that the majority of actual buying decisions are not made on Twitter even, if the conversation originated there? Those are made by people who found your backlink and keyword-rich tweet, after it has leaked onto Google, MSN, Yahoo, or another engine, and, even then, often bookmarked and your page visited several times (in most cases).
Alas, don't be sad that with all your hard networking conversations on Twitter that this is not where most of the actual business transactions will happen. However, if you excluded Twitter altogether, chances are, they might not happen at all as there would be nothing to leak onto the search engines.
About the Author
Rick London is co-founder of top organic seo and web design firm and is actress/author Mariel Hemingway's web designer. He also founded Londons Times Cartoons and offbeat gifts, which have been Google's number one ranked since 2005.