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Google Comes Full Social Circle. Is Twitter Now Fully Weaponized?

February 3rd, 2010 | | Social Media & SEO

While answering a series of questions regarding Social Media “defense” during a panel discussion at Blog Indiana 2009, Chris Brogan quipped that it would be some time before people will have to “weaponize” their tweets. The quote earned quite the laughter back in Augusts 2009, but with Google continuing to augment their integration into social media platforms with offerings including Caffeine, real time results, and now with their social circle and content that was just launched in Beta – signifying that Twitter results are here to stay for awhile in our SERPs – should we be preparing for the greatest Twitter spam offensive since the Fling.com assault of Summer ’09?

Twitter Weaponization

Before I begin, I will point out that Chris Brogan also said, “there’s a difference between being transparent and being naked.” And I point this out now, not because I was the one that was asking those questions at the event, but because I’m starting to wonder if Google ever considered this advice.

In their rush to get real time hashtags scrolling on the first page of SERPs last fall, I questioned whether or not the kings of search considered what kinds of results were going to start being displayed on targeted keywords. When the social feeds were first updated, I watched all sorts of crazy stuff scrolling on the first page of Google. I think I even saw spammer drool on some of them. Finally, spammers could have free reign of page one SERPs thanks to Twitter with just a fraction of the effort it normally took (and the dofollow blogs rejoiced). All one has to do had frequently tweet with the coveted hashtags and you can stay up there for moments at a time. I was watching the results on the day “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” was released on DVD.

It was amazing they way adult spammers could tweak a phrase that included Hogwarts, Harry, and Hermione. Hair-raising. And they were making to page one.

And the pattern repeats

google-update-spam-keyword-seo

Sadly, the technique is still available. For example, I spammed the term #SEO during the writing of this just to take the snapshot.

But Who Searches with a “#”

First skeptics like @Ripsup will point out that I spammed “#SEO” and not “SEO” and that not many searches start with a hashtag, but as Google continues to integrate the social components into the user’s overall experience, expect the trend of searches with hashtags to increase significantly.

Of course there’s studies on this

And the studies have already been conducted to show that Social Media Marketing Companies are already integrating twitter keyword strategies into their overall plan. Which only means they’re behind the spammers who’ve “wised-up” and became better at feigning engagement so they could prey on these hashtag searches like lions at the watering holes.

No, wait, they’re just affiliate marketers (just kidding).

But until Google decides to try to hybrid the real-time data of Twitter with an element of trust similar to when blog posts, news articles, and videos get features in SERPs, businesses might as well clean the rifles, kick the tires, and light the fires.

Tweets are becoming evermore a dangerous weapon.

Yahoo! keeping a few steps behind

“Thank you” to my Flickr account for helping me to stumble upon this:  In case you missed it, and judging from the market share, you have – Yahoo! offers you a chance to preview more and more non-Yahoo! sites on “Your New Homepage.” Facebook, Twitter, Boing-Boing, even, gasp, GMail. Suprisingly, there was a site in there I couldn’t add – if only I could have Googled it from there…

So, I figure in about 5 months they’ll start pulling results out of my network on these sites and give me results.

And the pattern will repeat, coming full (social) circle.

What trends have you noticed in the Google social updates?

Facebook   IN   Stumble Upon   Twitter   Sphinndo some of that social network stuff.
  • http://blogofmu.com/ Richard Orelup

    I’m a skeptic for more then that. :)

    First, it’s getting people to use Google to search on these trends compared to the standard of http://search.twitter.com/ or something more specific to hashtags like http://hashtags.org/ (I hear they are having an awesome revamp here in the near future) that will give you a ton more data.

    The clients people use support these other methods and not looking on google. And unless google started to do more with this data (and maybe after seeing the other offerings out there they will gank ideas) but again, a major company isn’t going to say “Hey use our Twitter Hashtag and look at it on google.”

    Next up on the issues, if you search #seo, it’s 10th on the first page. Unless google starts making this always number 1 then again it’s not going to be a valid tool for watching hashtags. People will go to the tools they are already using for twitter and the more appropriate places.

    Lastly, who knows if you will even be seen. First people have to use it and you have to hope they even get to wherever it is on the page, but when they get it that your tweet is even up there and not already moved on.

    Longtails won’t work as well because people will be going for specific hashtags and not kind of random things like search. People won’t add words on like cheap and such when they have a specific one they are looking for.

    There is just a lot right now that points to there not being a huge value in this right now without changes in how Google handles them and giving a person to even to think to go to Google for that opposed to what is default in their twitter client of choice.