Earlier this month we mentioned that Google would soon again have access to the so-called Twitter ‘firehose’. This got rolled out last week & Google is now prominently showing Tweets in mobile search results on smartphones and tablets. These are in a new format using a carousel which users can slide to view more Tweets and many Tweets feature images. In most cases the carousel appears at the top of the page.
Tweets aren’t shown for all search queries and it seems Google is primarily focusing on Tweets for topics that are trending or newsworthy.
We did test searches on a smartphone for some topical NZ issues currently in the news (Dean Barker; NZ budget; & Paul Henry) which we expected to see appearing in the Twitter carousel. However these didn’t show up and in fact the Twitter carousel isn’t appearing at all in Google.co.nz. Turns out that at this stage Google is only showing the Twitter carousel on Google.com mobile searches, however a global rollout will follow in time, along with these also appearing in desktop search results.
Why should you care?
This comment on Google’s Official Blog sums up why this development matters to businesses:
“It’s a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”
As you can see from the examples below brands can use the Twitter carousel to get some very prominent & timely exposure in Google.
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Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.