Twitter, Real Time Search & Real Time SEO (SMX Advanced 2010)

Up first is Danny Sullivan:

  • Overview of basic search vs. real time search.
  • Google : 88 billion searches per month.
  • Search marketing is more than web, more than keywords
  • Search marketing means being visible where someone has overtly expressed a need or desire
  • “Normal” search is a many-to-many platform
  • Many marketers reach out to many searchers at the same time
  • Real Time search: when people ask questions that anyone can see that anyone can answers – in seconds! You know exactly who is asking and who is answering.
  • Real Time search marketing is largely a one-to-one platform. See the tweet. Reply to the tweet.
  • RT Search: easy to do, very effective, well-known but equal to ranking for your own brand
  • With RT search, your profile can rank for pizza, luggage, and other awesome keywords. How cool!
  • Plug for searchengineland.com
  • Check out Replyz.com, an entire site that monitors questions on twitter for all sorts of topics
  • Real Time link search: many-to-many
  • Google now features these links in static form in SERPs
  • Links can help build long-term credit for the “normal” search results
  • Put your links out there; build retweets/sharing
  • Yes, twitter nofollows all links. But other services that grab your tweets are dofollow. Good point.
  • Relevancy over Recency: first in, last out is changing
  • Relevant results getting more hang time
  • With 18 billions searches per month on Twitter (double the number of searches that Yahoo does each month), changes may make Twitter Search more many-to-many
  • Twitter beta test for ads is currently running. Buy your way to the top.
  • Facebook: one-to-none. You can see posts, but you can’t reach out, can’t reply to people. Ads might improve for search. Search results themselves may change.

Next up: Stew Langille, Vice President, Marketing, Mint.com

  • How real-time drives seo and social acquisition for Mint.com
  • Develop strong content for real timeSEOConstantly monitor strong topics. Produce content around that trending topic. And then you can rank for the trending term(s).
  • Energize your communitiesDevelop active communities. All communities act differently. Develop content targeted for each community.
  • Leverage assets like data
  • Driving traffic for merchant and category specific keywords (black friday, wal-mart). Partnering with Google on Local Search Trends. Q&A driving more searches in universal search lately.
  • Tracking and analyticsIntegrate API’s from Google Trends, Twitter – matching KWs to trending topics. No current tools to track Twitter feed traffic from SEO. Build what you can’t buy. Free tools: klout.com, hootsuite

Next up: John Shehata, Director of SEO & Social Media, Advance Internet, Inc.

  • Ranking factors for real-time: some very similar to traditional ranking factors, some very different and new
  • Bing and Yahoo focus mainly on twitter, but Google focuses on many more sites.
  • Google recently added recent updates for images
  • RT ranking factors: user authority, microblogging freshness, number of followers, quality of followers, ratio of followers in contrast to the number of people followed, URL real-time resolution (look at how many of your links go to good neighborhoods vs bad neighborhoods), # of people retweeting your posts in the last minute, hour, day
  • Reputation & Popularity: It’s not about how many followers you have. It’s about how reputable those followers are.
  • Having followers with high authority theoretically helps your tweets rank higher in Google real-time search
  • Influence & Impact: influence is the likelihood that a twitter user will A) retweet something a user posted and/or B) reference the user. (The number of followers a user has. The number of unique references and citations of the user in Twitter. The frequency at which the user is uniquely retweeted. And a few more.)
  • Other possibly factors: recent activity. User name. Age of account. External links. Tweet quantity. Ratio of followed vs follow. Lists: how many lists do you appear in?
  • Check the firehose. Use the from:username feature in Twitter Search to see if your tweets are being fed to Google
  • Get your fans/customers to share your brand on social services
  • Limit sharing options
  • Make it easy to have your readers share your links, tweets and status updates
  • Encourage retweets by tweeting shorter tweets (less than 120 characters)
  • Produce content that appeals to social-savvy audiences
  • Employ content that encourages news users to engage socially
  • Don’t update multiple accounts. Re-tweet instead.
  • Connect your social profiles.
  • Attract reputable followers.
  • How to identify hot trends: Google insights, Trends, etc… Also determine your seasonal keyword trends.
  • Google News Suggest: different results than Google universal results.
  • How do online users search for news – People on search 5 ways: names, place, event/showname, hot subject/topic, organizations
  • Don’t use multiple hash tags. Looks spammy. Breaks the display in Google.
  • Tracking: Track your Google and Bing twitter referrals. Can’t do it (easily) in Yahoo. He says no way to find out right now.

Next up: Chris Silver Smith, Director of Optimization Strategies, KeyRelevance

  • Develop a twitter strategy. Consumers first. Time and resource needs. Goals.
  • Pizza Hut hired a “tweetologist” – a fulltime employee who tweets
  • Hugo Chavez hired 200 people to manage his twitter account
  • Full-time person (high degree engagement), part-time person (less engaged), static automation (mostly notifications, little interaction), Smart Automation (engaged, though impersonal)
  • Intelligent Agents: twitter.com/sp411 – use direct messaging to ask it questions, it will post answers
  • Use twitter search to discover how consumers need to interact with you. Monitor for topics for your business. Find people who are looking for products, answers related to your business = finding customers.
  • Twitter.com/DealMapDenver – pretty cool deal page for a locality. A great idea if you have locations in different cities.
  • Use OAuth to show source of status updates.
  • Lists may be the future. Lists allow you to target very focused groups for particular topics.
  • Automate updates from Blog, RSS: twitterfeed, dlvr.it (can set up multiple streams across multiple social accounts). cool stuff indeed!
  • Blackhats are setting up multiple feeds on Twitter. They watch Google Trends, and use it to their advantage. No way. I don’t believe that. Pause. Not! Of course they are. Blackhats forever!
  • Closely.com – for small business social media management.
  • Average twitter username is 9 characters long. Interesting.
  • Encourage retweets: shorts tweets, include call-to-action, use common words that are retweeted more often, use special characters to grab attention, URL shortening with keywords in the URLs

Hacker Croll Hacks Into Twitter Account Via Password Retrieval

Holy crap. This does not sound good, and Evan Williams (@ev, founder of Twitter) is definitely distressed about the whole thing. There are several news stories popping up all over the place, reporting that Twitter was hacked. However, the more I read about it, the more it seems that user accounts were not necessarily the goal of the hack. In fact, Ev claims that no user accounts were compromised. Rather, it seems that the hacker gained access to an email account. From there, Hacker Croll was able to use password retrieval methods (and social engineering) to gain access to all sorts of other services. Hacker Croll claims to have gotten access to all sorts of stuff – from email accounts to PayPal accounts to Apple accounts to Twitter accounts to Twitter’s domain name account at GoDaddy to phone numbers to time sheets to Twitter financial projections. It’s amazing what Hacker Croll claims to have accessed.

I’ve been running through the headlines. From what I can tell, here’s what happened:

  • In May, an anonymous hacker who goes by the name Hacker Croll hacked into Twitter (PC World)
  • He gained access to the Twitter account of Jason Goldman, a director of product management with Twitter
  • Hacker Croll posted 13 screenshots to a French online discussion forum (Zataz.com – posts have since been removed by Hacker Croll)
  • Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (@biz) confirmed the break-in (Blog.Twitter.com)
  • Hacker Croll claims: “one of the admins has a yahoo account, i’ve reset the password by answering to the secret question. Then, in the mailbox, i have found her twitter password…” (WarezScene.org)
  • Here is a roughly translated list of everything Hacker Croll claims to have gotten access to: Twitter Hacked!
  • Ev confirms an attack, but claims it was not an attack on Twitter and that no Twitter user accounts were compromised (TechCrunch.com)
  • TechCrunch gets a zipped file with 310 Twitter documents (TechCrunch.com)
  • Update: TechCrunch publishes a Twitter financial forecast document from February 2009 (TechCrunch.com)

So there. That’s the story so far. Wow. I just read it again. I’m not sure if this is the work of one hacker or several. The screenshots don’t look shop’d. Either way, I feel very badly for Ev. Having your account hacked is one thing, but his wife’s account was also hacked. It sucks when people target your family. And it looks like Hacker Croll was able to gain all of this access by correctly guessing passwords and security questions for email accounts. Hacker Croll certainly has some skills. From Hacker Croll:

What I would like to say is that even the biggest and the strongest do silly things without realizing it and I hope that my action will help them to realize that nobody is safe on the net. If I did this it’s to educate those people who feel more secure than simple Internet novices. And security starts with simple things like secret questions because many people don’t realise the impact of these question on their life if somebody is able to crack them.

How do you protect against someone being able to socially engineer their way into your account? I guess Ev, his family and the  Twitter employees will have to take extra steps at security for their personal email accounts. It sucks for them, but they’ll come out of this stronger. God luck, Ev. You’ve got my support.

Did Michael Jackson’s Death Fuel June’s Twitter Growth?

Compete.com Reports Twitter.com Unique Visitor Growth in June 2009
Compete.com Reports Twitter.com Unique Visitor Growth in June 2009

Remember Twitter? It was growing by leaps and bounds earlier this year. In May, that growth flattened out. But now, according to Compete.com, Twitter is back in style for unique visitors. (Source)

Personally, I believe some of this growth can be attributed to Michael Jackson’s death. MJ’s death was the most viral social phenomenon we have ever seen. It was setting records for search on Yahoo, and Twitter also reported some amazing stats during the days after the King of Pop’s death. Would it make sense that more people flocked to Twitter for MJ news and messages? Did more people join Twitter just so they could be part of the circus that followed the death of arguably the most famous entertainer in the world? I think so, but I could be wrong. And I’m not saying that MJ’s death contributed to all of this growth, but I do think it’s a big factor in the growth. Just sayin’ is all…

If Facebook Nails This, Twitter is Toast!

Wow. Facebook continues to take on Twitter. Mashable’s post describes the new Profile Fans feature Facebook rolled out recently. Check it out here: Facebook to Emulate Twitter’s Follower Model With Profile Fans

Notice something different? Look closely and you’ll see the new option to receive an email notification whenever another Facebook user “Connects to me as a fan.” In other words, Facebook followers, here we come.

Facebook has a long way to go, but I think they are on track to become the clear winner in the long run. I do not believe that Twitter will completely go away or throw up a white flag. I do believe that Twitter will be around for a while, but by following Twitter’s lead (no pun intended), Facebook may one day have a clear upper hand in the microblog/status feed market.

Twitter is Down for Maintenance, Call in the Caterpillar and the Icecream Cone

Twitter is down for maintenance. This happens sometimes. I enjoy the caterpillar and the icecream cone.

Twitter Caterpillar & Icecream Cone Maintenance Guy
Twitter Caterpillar & Icecream Cone Maintenance Guy

Whenever my site is down, I wish I could use a caterpillar and an icecream cone image. “It’s cool. I can chill. Hurry up.” That makes me laugh.

Twitter Co-Founder, Evan Williams, Goes to the White House

Apparently, the White House has invited a bunch of young business leaders. Twitter’s co-founder, Evan Williams, was one of those people invited to discuss the current economic crisis. Evan Williams has tons of money. He worked at Google before the PPO, and he sold Blogger to Google. I don’t even think that Twitter is making any money right now in the US. This article says that they make some money on ads in Japan. But who would turn down a trip to the White House? Not the Twitter guys. From’s Evan’s Twitter account: “must mean they’re *really* out of ideas.” More here.