Google Shows Tweets in Desktop Results

Google Shows Tweets in Desktop Results

View profile for David Gilroy
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Earlier this year, Google’s partnership with Twitter brought about an update that saw relevant tweets embedded into mobile search results. As of Friday, this has been expanded to desktop searches – a natural progression in the partnership of both companies.

While Google has provided links to relevant tweets in it’s results for a while, displaying tweets and accounts themselves within the first page now places those tweets in front of a larger audience – good news for Twitter, which has been struggling to attract new users as of late.

However, whilst investigating this new update, we discovered that only certain accounts have been showing up in the results, while others do not.

For example, a search for Irwin Mitchell will bring up their Twitter account and latest Tweets:

Whereas searching for a smaller firm (in terms of size and revenue) such as Stephensons Solicitors LLP will not. Stephensons however have an excellent social media footprint (7,500+ followers on Twitter for example) and yet their tweets do not show in Google results when doing a brand search for their name.   Certainly this merits some more investigation to better understand how the Google algorithm is making its decision on show/no-show.

Searching for current news stories or events will display the most relevant tweets along with tweets from popular accounts, as shown below:

Since this expansion of Twitter-inclusive search results is a brand new update, there’s very little information as to why some accounts/tweets are embedded in the first page of results and others are not. 

However, the results of a study conducted by Temple Stone Consulting shows that Google still has a major bias towards Twitter accounts with higher popularity, though this seems to be defined by engagement and levels of interaction above follower count. Back when Google and Twitter first struck a deal in February, Tweets were being indexed at a very low rate of 0.6%, and although in June this had risen to 3.4%, this study found that 96% of Tweets are still not indexed and thus will not show up in search results. Therefore, we can expect that this will be a gradual change over the next year. 

Another reason your Twitter account may not show is your privacy settings: Google will not display your account or tweets in it’s results if you have your Twitter account set to private.

We have also looked into how SEO tactics could factor into this update, and believe that now is the time to ensure your Twitter is fully optimised for search results. There are several things you can be doing to increase your Twitter visibility in the time being:

  1. Make sure your Twitter handle and username are consistent with your company name and the way it is written on your website and other platforms.
  2. Use relevant keywords by monitoring your engagement and tracking which keywords attracted more engagement. Use these keywords in your tweets and your bio to boost visibility in Google search results.
  3. As always, build and maintain your Twitter profile: interact, don’t be afraid to ask for retweets from someone with a large follower count, use images in your tweets and post tweets which target your followers. But of course, you knew this already from our Twitter Tips Booklet.