How to Use Twitter for Link Building and Social Signals
As Twitter becomes more and more mainstream, search engines are increasingly indexing its social graph for ranking signals. In this article, you’ll learn five ways to leverage Twitter to rank better in organic search.
According to preliminary data from the upcoming 2011 Search Ranking Factors study from SEOmoz, (1) the number of tweets associated with a particular URL and (2) the authority of the Twitter user generating these tweets were amongst the most important social media based ranking factors.
The following are broad metrics that the search engines use to understand the Twitter authority and trust of a given profile:
Overall Authority of Twitter Ranking Signals
- Diversity of Twitter profiles tweeting a particular URL
- Quantity of followers, friends, and overall tweets
- Tweet Engagement, the number of re-tweets, and hashtag responses
- Topical Relevance of Tweets. Do they contain topically related keywords?
- Timing of Tweets, as applicable to real time search, for example, “the royal wedding.”
- Page Level Authority, traditional page authority for a particular URL, PageRank, and inbound link popularity.
Now that you have an idea of the factors search engines may take into account when evaluating Twitter links versus links from other sources on the web, it’s time to give you actionable tips on using these to your advantage.
1. Link to your Twitter profile
Link to your Twitter profile from your website, blog, and by using social media sharing buttons. While Twitter has a high overall domain authority, your own Twitter profile requires inbound links in the same fashion as your website does to build up authority and trust.
2. Set up different Twitter accounts if you have different business units
Different Twitter accounts are used when your company’s employees use their own personal accounts to re-tweet tweets from a company account. Likewise, if you have different business units, there are opportunities for cross promotion via re-tweeting. This is also a great way to seed overall engagement of your tweet.
3. Use a friendly URL shortener
Twitter’s 140 character limit often means that you can’t paste full URLs back to your website. Using a friendly URL shortener such as Bit.ly or Goo.gl passes link juice from a tweet back to your website.
4. Use Klout.com to figure out who you are influenced by
Klout is a service which analyses your influencers and who you influence. Keeping in mind that Twitter Authority is one of the metrics associated with higher search rankings from social signals, it’s important to engage with users who have a higher overall Klout than your profile.
5. Update accounts using RSS feeds of your content
RSS feeds provide an automated way of telling web services when you have new content. You can create an RSS feed of all the digital assets you have including YouTube videos, white papers, blog posts, press releases and more, and then syndicate these to Twitter.
Learn more about these tips visually from my Slideshare presentation from SMX Toronto 2011.