When it comes to marketing a company online, business owners are constantly being fed a number of myths and misconceptions about search engine optimization, advertising and more. One of the latest of these misleading statements is that the industry and practice of SEO is dead. Thanks to the rise of social media as a traffic driver, naysayers claim, you’re better off composing some witty tweets than investing in keywords and content. Fortunately, due to a statement by social media giant Twitter, we know that this is almost certainly false: in a recent report, Twitter said that SEO helped the website generate an increase in logged-out visitors almost 10 times its original amount.
In a Twitter Analyst Day event on November 12, Trevor O’Brien, the company’s Director of Product Management, said that Twitter had made a change to their protocols in 2014 to ensure that search engines could better access 50,000 of their popular hashtag pages. Twitter reported that this change increased the number of logged-out users coming to the site from 7.5 million per month to 75 million per month. The assumption is that these logged-out users are those still without an account on the site who might be successfully encouraged to sign up. However, the company is reportedly exploring possibilities to help increase their profit from these landing pages.
Understandably, many experts in the SEO industry are unsurprised by Twitter’s revelation.
“Regarding the Internet and all of it’s major components — search engines, social media, etc. — it all comes down the relevance. We as human beings are searching for information — usually wanting a question answered. The more relevant a piece of information is, the more it gets shared on social media, and that’s what many SEO companies are working on right now. You can’t just optimize for keywords anymore, you have to optimize for relevant information — and that’s where social media comes in,” explains Matthew Cook, CEO of SalesHub.
However, Twitter’s positive results from SEO and Google are not without a touch of irony: as Search Engine Land noted, Twitter once received a high amount of traffic from Google due to a deal they had struck with the search engine. However, the deal fell apart in 2011, with Google pulling an entire product, called Google Real Time Search, that they had built around Twitter. Now, some are speculating that Twitter is trying to regain some of that attention from Google, which has the highest market share of any popular search engine. Is Twitter trying to return to Google’s good graces? Only time will tell.