There is no denying that the popularity of Twitter is growing at an enormous pace and as a result, webmasters have started taxing their brains to find out SEO value of Twitter. The webmasters obviously want to exploit Twitter to boost their placement in Google’s SERPs.
Strangely, Twitter carries a “nofollow” attribute to the links submitted by its users. This attribute indicates to search engines including Google to ignore the link. Some search engines like Yahoo! and Google do follow the links but discards them from their ranking formulas. Other search engines like MSN ignore the link totally.
Interestingly, the only known search engine that disregards “nofollow” instruction is Ask.com that owns about 2.5% of the search engine market share. Ask.com proclaims to the world that Google’s algorithms are not the gospel for all search engines.
It is reported in November 2008 that Ask.com accounted for 255 million search queries. This may appear too small compared to 7235 millions on Google, but still you cannot shut your eyes to a source of such traffic. So to the question whether Twitter passes any link juice – well to Ask.com it does.
Visitors are not obsessed about “nofollow” attributes. If they notice a link and they feel the content the link leads to is going to be useful, they just follow the link all the same.
Whatever may be the importance of link building, the fact remains that SEO is not only about building links. Optimizing a site has a lot to do with creating and promoting informative content that can be regarded as a resource.
Though Twitter is basically a social media aimed at creating community and relationships, it does possess SEO value. It needs to be stated that if you can lure visitors to come to your site via Twitter, then this is going to be a big SEO advantage you can ill-afford to lose.
It may be worthwhile to think of some Twitter tips that your company or your brand can find useful.
Select a Username that is appropriate to your brand and easy for all to remember. Your Username will then become part of your customized Twitter URL such as twitter.com/yoursite or twitter.com/yourtopic. This will result in a static address for future search indexing, which also helps usability for other cross-channel promotions.
Next is to intelligently select an account name. Optimize this Twitter account name to effectively reflect your brand. Your account name is what should appear next to your profile and that can be different from your User name/URL. You should imaginatively create an account name that promotes yourself, your company and/or your brand.
Make your bio account to include the mission-critical key phrases for your brand taking full advantage of all 160 characters. Remember you are allowed 20 more characters than a standard tweet. Your bio is consistently indexed so its contents obviously become the core relevance for your Twitter page
You can integrate your Twitter URL into your website through a call to action on the site for your visitors to follow you on Twitter. You could also integrate your Twitter URL within your site’s Global Footer, which appears at the bottom of every page of your site. By exercising these two options you lend usability to your visitors and help boost your Twitter URL up in the search engines.
Please know that the “lead-in” of each tweet is quite important for SEO as it will determine what appears in the tweet’s title tag when it shows up as a search result on a search engine. You may be aware that roughly 42 characters are factored into each tweet’s title tag, including both the account name and the initial characters of each tweet. Your full tweet and all its characters will however be still indexed by all major engines
As far as possible, initiate your tweet with a primary keyword phrase to theme each message. Take advantage of any buzz words as this will enable you to capitalize on timely searches by visitors. This is not to say you should fill your tweets with buzz words at the cost of providing value to your followers.
If you really wish a message to proliferate on Twitter, the key is to keep it under 120 characters enabling your followers to easily add RT @Your User name in front of the tweet.
It is important to introduce back links to redirect users back to your content. It is a fact that Twitter is a significant traffic driver for bloggers and others using the space to share links. If you do share links, use one of the many available URL shorteners like Tiny URL or Bit.ly.
When providing URL shorteners, make sure the redirection leads to pages which provide a richer content experience. It is universally known that Twitter users have enormous appetite for information and also in a hurry to get it.