How Much of Twitter Does Google Index? Future of Digital Marketing | Perficient Digital

How Much of Twitter Does Google Index? Future of Digital Marketing

In the spring of 2015 Google began implementing its recently-renewed agreement with Twitter that gave the search giant full, real-time access to all tweets on Twitter.

Here at Perficient Digital we had a unique opportunity to assess how much of a difference this made. We had made before and after “snapshots” of over 133,000 tweets and measured how many of them were indexed in Google Search. You can see our results here.

During his recent presentation to Boston-area marketers on “The Future of Digital Marketing and SEO,” Perficient Digital’s (and lead co-author of The Art of SEO) Eric Enge presented a summary of our findings and explained what they mean for the future of digital marketing.

Hear his commentary in the four-minute video clip from the event below. You’ll also see “as it happened” tweets from the event in the video.

You can read my summary and commentary below the video, or view the full-length presentation.

Google Increases Twitter Indexation (But Not All Tweets!)

In February 2015 we collected over 133,000 tweets and then checked Google Search to see how many of them showed up as indexed. Here are the results of that study:

Amount of tweets indexed by Google February 2015

As you can see, only 7.4% of the tweets in our sample group showed up on Google. Why doesn’t Google index all tweets? Eric Enge stated that Google never indexes all of anything. They only index what they find valuable. Also, up until the implementation of their new deal with Twitter (giving Google direct access to Twitter in real time), they had to crawl Twitter like any website to find new tweets. (The 7.4% rate was seen over time; as you’ll see below, a much lower percentage of tweets are indexed soon after posting.)

With the new deal in place, we expected this indexation to rise. But by how much?

About a month after Google started making use of its new access to Twitter, we looked again at our sample of 130K tweets. This time we focused on how many tweets were indexed within seven days. In February, that was about 0.6%.

Tweets indexed by Google within 7 days February vs June 2015

But by June, the percentage of tweets in our sample that were indexed by Google within seven days jumped to 3.4%, a 466% increase!

But 3.4% is still quite small. This means that while there are many good reasons to promote your content on Twitter, Google SEO still isn’t necessarily one of them.

We also measured these results by Moz’s Social Authority metric (part of its Followerwonk tool) and by follower count. We found that having a higher social authority ranking increased the chances of your tweets being indexed by Google. Here are the results according to follower count of the Twitter profiles in our sample group:

Google indexation of tweets by follower count of profile.

Notice that the percentage of tweets indexed for higher-follower-count profiles was even larger in June than in February.

Takeaways

  • Google indexation of tweets has increased and probably will continue to increase (up to a point), but never will Google index every tweet.
  • The chances of having your tweets show up in Google Search increase dramatically as your profile gains authority on Twitter. As in many areas of social marketing these days, the rich get richer. Seek to “get rich!” That is, work hard to build real authority on Twitter by earning a real following, nourishing relationships with relevant influencers, and continually posting engaging tweets.

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9 responses to “How Much of Twitter Does Google Index? Future of Digital Marketing”

  1. aaron says:

    Given June was over a half-year ago, wouldn’t it make sense to check the tweets once more to get another trending data point?

  2. Yes it would, Aaron! That’s in the works; stay tuned.

  3. Anam says:

    Is there a way to find out if my tweets are indexed by Google?

  4. As you can see in our study, almost no accounts have all of their tweets indexed. To find out if an individual tweet has been indexed by Google, try copying its text exactly and then pasting it into the Google search box, with quotation marks (“) on either end of the text.
    Or you could search in Google for your Twitter handle (with the @ sign) and see if you get a slider at the top with your recent tweets. That will probably only work if you tweet fairly regularly.

  5. Head Honcho says:

    A great conglomeration of Twitter / Google Index for digital marketing. We’ve found that the more authority of the followers the better our reach for SEO. Not as a standalone process, but a way to attract conversations within Twitter and shared outside of the Twittersphere!

  6. Modea_PL says:

    Hi, is there still some movement in indexation on Twitter? Some time passed, is there a chance to get more indexed site in G. by using Twitter at this time? Any impact on SEO when using Twitter to link your content?
    Regards

  7. Eric Enge says:

    Tweeting links to a regular web page passes no SEO value to the web page, as the links are all NoFollow. We do have a later version of the Twitter indexation study that you can see here: https://www.stonetemple.com/twitter-indexing-decline/.

  8. Szeruj says:

    Has something changed in the index? It seems to me that the number of tweets has decreased recently.

  9. Mark Traphagen says:

    We aren’t currently running this study, so we have no empirical data to answer that with. Do remember that whether or not tweets will be shown is highly dependent on the query, and Google is likely adjusting which queries should show tweets all the time.

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