An eagle-eyed Robin Wauters over at TechCrunch points out that Twitter subtly optimized its title tags yesterday for an SEO solution that may just put your Twitter page at the top of your Google results.
Notice that title tag for my Twitter profile page?
It reads “Robin Wauters (robinwauters) on Twitter” where it used to say “Twitter / robinwauters”. For the TechCrunch Twitter account, it used to read “Twitter / TechCrunch” (only the username) instead of now “Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) on Twitter” (full name + username).
Minor tweak, you say? Mundane change? Perhaps, but with an undeniably big impact on how high Twitter pages will be ranked in search engines from now on.
Wauters says to Google his name for proof, saying that his LinkedIn profile and defunct internet marketing blog used to show up first, but now has been replaced by Twitter. (I tried this on my own name, but Twitter hasn't yet changed in Google ranking.)
Wauters said his results were correlated with other users who have had a public profile for more than two years, all with the same result: Twitter's in the top five.
It's a small change, but there are major implications to this for businesses and individuals alike.
For businesses -- particularly startups -- this provides a low-cost way to get instant Google love.
(Indeed, Wauters says Facebook is changing its profile URLs to better carry a person's name for their profiles, too.)
For individuals, this means it's now easier to brand yourself (like a business) without committing yourself to, say, a real blog. It also means that an employer may read your Twitter as easily as they would your resume or personal website -- so think about what 140 characters you decide to tweet.
Furthermore, Wauters points out that the inflated rankings provide "one more entry point into Twitter, which should help it continue to grow visitor traffic exponentially." So Twitter better continue to investigate ways to bring in revenue, n'est pas?