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Thread: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

  1. #1
    Moderator mjtaylor's Avatar
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    Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    In this provocative post (mentioned by kgun in another thread) by Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz observes that bloggers are linking less often to articles that interest them. Instead they are Tweeting about them.

    SEOmoz | Could Twitter Cannibalize the Web's Link Graph

    Do you feel it's tougher than ever, because of Twitter, to get quality links for your site? Will search engines have to start indexing Tweets in a whole new way to stay on top of the trends in information?
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  2. #2
    WebProWorld MVP kgun's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Yes, this is interesting


    • "Twitter is cannibalizing blogging. People who previously might have blogged about a site/news article/clever piece of linkbait are simply tweeting it, and save their blog posts for more comprehensive essays and broader subjects.

    This last one is fascinating to me, and carries some interesting connotations. If the trend is real, and continues, it seems very likely to me that the search engines will need to start relying on Twitter's tweet graph, particularly for "new" information and content?"


    So there is a new concept: Twitter's tweet graph


    Googling the exaxt term "Twitter's tweet graph" give you at leas one related (comment) article.


    Related WPW thread: http://www.webproworld.com/search-en...tml#post501174
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  3. #3
    WebProWorld MVP claybutler's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    I don't see a lot of Tweet traffic but then again I'm not maximizing my tweeter feeds. I just can't be bothered with investing all the time that is necessary to get any serious traffic from it. I still think the really good (quality) traffic comes from other blogs, not tweets. The reason being is when a blogger links to me it is usually is surrounded by content that provides context and a reason for the link. Twitter post are just a bunch of short headlines with a stupid bitly link. Both of which tell you almost nothing about what this link is about. This devalues the link from a usability point of view.

    I also believe that because it's so easy to tweet that the links are viewed with less gravity than say a blog link. If someone writes a good post and then highlights you with a link in the article that means something. Not only to SE's but to people as well. All referals aren't the same. If Robert Di Nero says you're a good actor that means a heck of a lot more than if your grandma says the same thing. Source matters.

    No doubt that Digg and Tweets can help somehting go viral, but for most of us that simply won't happen. We need the meat and potatoes traffic.

    I have no idea what the SE's will do about this since be default ALL links in social media are no follow and URL shorteners like bitly strip any reference to the original URL which often contains clues to what the page is about.

    This is definitely going to make the SE's job harder at judging relevance and quality.

  4. #4

    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by claybutler View Post
    I don't see a lot of Tweet traffic but then again I'm not maximizing my tweeter feeds. I just can't be bothered with investing all the time that is necessary to get any serious traffic from it. I still think the really good (quality) traffic comes from other blogs, not tweets. The reason being is when a blogger links to me it is usually is surrounded by content that provides context and a reason for the link. Twitter post are just a bunch of short headlines with a stupid bitly link. Both of which tell you almost nothing about what this link is about. This devalues the link from a usability point of view.
    Don't fully agree with Claybutler. It's true, lot's of people use Twitter to stupid reasons, but that's not the only use there is. Just as you can get a link from a blog with completely unrelated content (that will be not very useful), you can get a link from a stupid tweet. But there's the other case as well. You mention that usually links from blogs are surrounded by related content.... What if the link your getting from Twitter comes from an expert in your field? i.e: An expert in SEO, links one of your posts from your SEO Blog? Shouldn't that be as valuable as a link from a blog with related content??
    I think it should. With time, search engines will get to differentiate the value of Twitter links, just as they do differentiate the value of links from blogs, websites or anything else.

  5. #5
    Moderator chrisJumbo's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Frankly, I haven't gone the twitter route. I realize it is huge and lots of people are using it, I'm just not convinced they are the "buyers" we would be looking for.

    I can see how people might feel twitter is taking links, but I still find great content on blogs and and don't find much meat with twitter.

    cd :O)

  6. #6
    WebProWorld MVP claybutler's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedroneiraf View Post
    What if the link your getting from Twitter comes from an expert in your field? i.e: An expert in SEO, links one of your posts from your SEO Blog? Shouldn't that be as valuable as a link from a blog with related content??
    I think it should. With time, search engines will get to differentiate the value of Twitter links, just as they do differentiate the value of links from blogs, websites or anything else.

    I think it will matter somewhat but not as much as a link from the SEO experts blog. The reason is it's almost impossible to tell who's an expert on twitter because there is no content. No BBB seals, no real contact info, no pages of info, no whois info...nothing but a bunch of links. That is incredibly easy to fake because there is so little context and the price of admission is zero. Anything with a low barrier to entry is devalued. However a half way decent blog takes work. Sure you can use automation tricks and blog networks and try to fake it but it's much harder to pull off than another fake twitter account full of links. That's why I don't believe the SE's will ever place the same value on a twitter post as a blog post. They try to protect the quality of their search results as that is tied directly into their profits. That's why the keyword meta tag was mostly dropped or devalued. Too easy to fake and a low barrier to entry. I view twitter the same way. It's algorithmically to the SE's advantage to devalue the links because it's so easy to spoof. Not saying it won't count for something in the future but it doubt it will be counted the same way or even used the same way. More likely it will be used for trending data. That could be useful. However in the classic Google PR sense, I have my doubts.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    I've been hanging out on twitter lately, and I have come to see it as a valuable tool, both for linking to my own blog content, and finding links to other people's blog content. Almost every single tweet that has provided valuable information for me, is a link to a blog. And, most of my retweets are someone linking to some excellent article on a blog. You just can't share much information within the confines of a tweet. Maybe a few tidbits of info, but nothing of any substance.

    And, due to the limited nature of a tweet, I really can't see this changing in the future. IDK, maybe it's the neighborhoods I hang out in, but I can't see any threat at all from twitter. In my experience I have noticed that whenever I tweet about a post on my blog, it's not long before googlebot shows up to have a look, nofollow or not.

  8. #8
    WebProWorld MVP claybutler's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by netroact View Post
    In my experience I have noticed that whenever I tweet about a post on my blog, it's not long before googlebot shows up to have a look, nofollow or not.
    I've been having the same weird indexing experienced as well. I don't know if it's because I Digg my own posts or that my blog post automatically post to my Twitter account but not only will a new blog post be indexed within minutes, but it will be ranking well for it's keyphrases too. And it's not a temporary blip either. It stays that way. It's kind of magical. Whatever I'm doing, it's working, but I don't know yet which factor is the trigger.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by claybutler View Post
    ....or that my blog post automatically post to my Twitter account but not only will a new blog post be indexed within minutes, but it will be ranking well for it's keyphrases too...
    My blog posts are automatically tweeted as well via Bird Feeder. Maybe Google sees that as a third party tweeting a new post from the blog. And, maybe that gives it some juice.
    I know one thing for sure, it's working for now.

  10. #10
    Moderator mjtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Is Twitter Stealing Your Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by netroact View Post
    In my experience I have noticed that whenever I tweet about a post on my blog, it's not long before googlebot shows up to have a look, nofollow or not.
    You may well know this, but for those who don't, the nofollow attribute doesn't mean Google won't follow and index the linked site; it ONLY means Google won't allow any PageRank from the page where the site is linked.
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