If you often read about SEO, you’ll know that there are lots of SEO tips out there. Some are logical and pretty obvious, others are absolute gems. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there too. Some tips given by supposed experts and self-declared gurus are less useful – advocating simple but time consuming techniques that do little for your website’s visibility in the search engines. Other bits of information could be dangerous black hat techniques but online communities are usually good at holding rogue SEO’ers to account and putting untruths to rest.
One of the more tiresome pieces of misinformation being peddled as an SEO technique is the idea that Twitter can help your search engine optimisation. After all, tweets can be indexed and you can post as many links to your website as you like. Here is why we believe this theory is rubbish:
1. Google doesn’t favour links from social media websites over any others. Google looks at the internet one page at a time and would not make the mistake of favouring links from one over another separate from the usual standards of page rank etc. Google has stated on numerous occasions that they want to return the most useful results because then people use their search engine more and this involves remaining impartial.
2. Twitter links have a no-follow attribute which means that links from your Twitter account don’t pass on any page rank. The more popular your Twitter account is, the more likely it is that your tweets will be indexed. However, due to the no-follow attribute, most SEO professionals would prefer to use their time building quality links that pass on page rank and benefit their search engine positioning. It is also unlikely that the quantity of followers has an impact on your account as Twitter and Google are fully aware of how some people use ‘bots’ to bump up their follower count and make themselves look more popular than they really are.
3. Twitter is a great way of generating traffic through relationship management. Twitter is all about the conversation and building relationships with customers. The purpose of SEO is to increase your search engine positioning and attract new customers rather than looking after existing customers. Internet marketing is a more holistic approach in driving traffic that incorporates skills developed by public relations professionals. As an SEO professional, you may prefer to pass relationship management and digital PR to your client’s PR company so you can concentrate on getting the results you are being paid for (unless part of your contract includes social media management separate from your SEO strategy.)
SEO is about achieving high rankings for your client’s specified terms. Whilst some tweets are indexed, links on Twitter are no-follow links meaning that they pass no page rank and have not been proved to improve your visibility in the search engines. Internet marketing can involve online public relations but as a professional, you and your client need to know what you are comfortable offering and how you position yourself in your local market. Are you looking to provide #1 rankings or enhance your visibility online for people who already know about you and are searching for you specifically?