Google and the Twitter Fire Hose; Implications for Healthcare Marketers

Recently, it was publicly announced that Twitter will once again allow Google full access to its stream of content (also referred to as the Twitter “fire hose”).  This will allow Google to fully index public tweets and display them in their search engine results pages (SERPs).

Several years ago Google was able to fully index and serve content that was being produced on Twitter.  The feature was referred to as “real time” results and looked like this:

However, in 2011 the agreement between Twitter and Google expired and real time search ceased to be.  From that point on Google has been inefficient at indexing and serving content from Twitter.  Occasionally you will see a person’s profile or a tweet appear by indirect means, but generally Twitter is absent.

With this new deal that has been reached, Google will once again have the ability to fully serve content from Twitter.

Currently neither Google nor Twitter is talking about what the feature will look or act like once it has been integrated.  What we know is that Twitter will soon become a very important channel to be active on from a SEO perspective.  Simultaneously, social content developed by marketers for Twitterneeds to be crafted with particular attention to Google and SEO best practices in order to get the maximum number of users looking at content.

Specific optimization tactics include using high search volume query terms within posted Tweets to trigger potential rankings within search engine results.  Using keywords within profile descriptions will also likely come into play.  In terms of how the SERPs may change, it would not be surprising to see indexed tweets starting to appear within first page rankings for commonly used unbranded and branded keywords.


Brett Landry