Twitter & Google Work Out Deal to Index Tweets


With user growth slowing, Twitter is now becoming open to new revenue generation ideas. For the past 3 ½ years, Google has had to crawl Twitter, index the Tweets, and then list them in the SERPs. That could be a days, weeks, or months long process.

Previous to that, Google would immediately index Tweets. No one knows why the two companies let the deal come to an end. Rumors do indicate that Twitter was ready to try monetizing without Google in the mix. But regardless, the deal did end, and for whatever reason, it was never renewed.

Since then, Twitter’s gone public. And with user growth slowing, they’ve been looking for more sources of revenue. So this deal with Google seems to be a natural fit. There is no specific timeframe for the deal to complete, but current talk says it should happen sometime during the first 6 months of this year.

Interestingly, Google was the very last company Twitter struck this deal with. It already had similar deals in place with Bing and Yahoo. In fact, if you search someone’s Twitter handle on Bing, several of their recent Tweets pop up right beneath their handle.

While Twitter gets more reach and monetization out of the deal, Google gets greater relevance on mobile devices. And it’s also less likely Google ever tries to buy out Twitter.

What Does This Deal Mean for Small Businesses?

This opens up an opportunity for small businesses. If Tweets get indexed immediately, there’s potential to drive business right away through Twitter.

For example, think about what would happen if your product or service solves a local problem happening right now. There could be flooding in your area. If you do flood cleanup, you could Tweet that out and get indexed in Google right away.

The same goes for talk shows, holidays, or special events happening around town. You can make their publicity yours. What you could do is only really limited to your creativity.

We’re not saying it’s the next big thing. But it could be another useful tool in your bag of marketing techniques.

What’s in a (user)name?

On an otherwise ordinary Friday night in the summer of 2009, I sat in front of my computer, eyes darting between the clock and computer monitor. It was an anxiety akin to waiting for tickets to a favorite band’s concert to go on sale. What was the cause of my nocturnal angst? At midnight on June 13th, 2009, Facebook would release the ability to create vanity URLs for all member profiles.
Continue reading What’s in a (user)name?

Social Networking by the Numbers

Social networks: we’ve all heard of them, and most of us are at least familiar with the basic principles of all the major ones—Facebook is the biggest, YouTube is the place to watch videos, Flickr is for pictures, and Twitter is, well, Twitter. But enough about the basics! We’ve compiled a list of fun social media trivia that’s sure to make you the most popular guy or gal at your next party. Or help you answer a Final Jeopardy question. Or at least make you say “hmm.”
Continue reading Social Networking by the Numbers

Paging Dr. Facebook

Since joining Facebook this past summer, i5 web works has endeavored to learn as much as possible about the impact that the social networking phenomenon is having on business promotion. Our conclusion? Even though there’s no way to measure how Facebook, Twitter, et al are driving customers to your business, social marketing is nevertheless a great way to communicate with hundreds (or even thousands) of people about your brand in real-time and a free way to advertise your services.

As I’ve mentioned before, i5 web works offers a social networking set up and maintainence service, and we’ve discovered that it’s usually fairly simple to concoct content for companies to share with the masses since most of them are free to talk about most every service they provide. Organizations in one sector of the market, though, must be discreet about what they post online or risk incurring the ire of Uncle Sam.
The medical community is bound by HIPAA laws and professional ethics to keep patient information private and to maintain an appropriately distant doctor-patient relationship. In recent months, a number of outlets have reported that medical students (and even some doctors) have revealed inappropriate information about themselves and/or their patients on social networks. However, this does not mean that the medical community is prohibited from enjoying the advantages of social marketing. In fact, this Hospital Social Networking List currently contains links to over 241 Facebook Pages, 323 Twitter accounts, and 213 YouTube channels of state licensed hospitals, and more hospitals are being added to the list daily.
And just how are doctors and hospitals using these social networking tools? By posting tips about staying healthy, links to helpful information and articles about medical breakthroughs, and pictures from events (like Race for the Cure and toy drives) that the staff has either participated in or hosted. Some doctors have even tweeted during heart surgery (without revealing any indentifying personal information, of course) and others have used social networks to update their patients about the swine flu.

Truth be told, there is so much that medical professionals can share on social networks that they might be hard pressed to find time to update their accounts with all of the information. I5 web works has the time and the skills to maintain medical social network accounts and keep patients informed.

According to Pew, social networks are two-way streets. Sure, doctors and hospitals can use them to tout their services and establish legitimacy, but more often than not, web-savvy patients (sometimes referred to as “e-patients”) search social networks for information related to their illness and wellness. Gone are the days of calling mom about a lingering cold or asking the neighbor which SPF to take to the beach. Now, Pew reports, “some 61 percent of Americans go online for health information,” and 20 percent of those web users read blogs, listen to podcasts, and pose questions in their Facebook statues to find the answers to health-related questions. Thirty-five percent of adults have social network accounts, but many social media enthusiasts are minorities and young folks who might be more prone to visit Google than their physicians when health issues arise. By updating social network pages with health and wellness tips, doctors and hospitals make reliable information available to e-patients who might have otherwise found flimsy advice elsewhere on the Web. Once a patient finds a helpful tip on a healthcare provider’s social network page, he or she can easily pass the source on to others.

Once they’re comfortable on a social network or two, healthcare providers can also use them to connect patients with support groups that could offer encouragement and sympathy. Online support groups are particularly useful for patients who are homebound or suffer from especially rare diseases and also serve to augment the doctor-patient relationship, but they aren’t the only support options available to doctors and hospitals on social networks. The CDC recently found that people who received daily reminders via social media to wear sunscreen were twice as likely to do so as those who did not receive reminders. Doctors and hospitals, too, could use social media to promote healthy behavior and post encouraging tips for those struggling with disease.

Many doctors don’t have time to tweet and Facebook the workday away, and some who have personal social network accounts fear that patients will use them to seek advice and diagnoses when their physicians are out of the office and off the clock. There are a few doctors who don’t mind occasionally receiving private Facebook messages from patients with minor bumps and bruises, but the best solution for those who do mind is a professional social network account like a Facebook Fan page or specialized Twitter account. Doctors can pass the responsibilities of maintaining these accounts to qualified companies (like i5 web works), direct their patients to these pages when they’re seeking health information, and reserve their personal pages for interactions with friends and family.

The Business of Social Networks

At i5 web works, we’re all about tracking internet trends and keeping up with the newest and most efficient ways of being found online, so we just love The Pew Internet & American Life Project. If you’re not familiar with it, The Pew Internet Project is one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, which "provides information on issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world." The Pew Internet Project is focused on the Internet’s impact on our world; its research covers everything from emails and blogs to podcasts and social networking.

Recently, the project reported that 19% of internet users are sharing updates about themselves via Twitter or another online status-updater service. That’s up a whopping 8% over what was reported in December of 2008 and April of this year, which indicates to us that social networking sites are quickly becoming some of the most popular new kids on the block.

So what does social networking have to do with internet marketing? Just about everything. You see, social networks like Twitter and Facebook aren’t just for finding out what your fifth grade teacher had for breakfast anymore. With heavy hitters like Starbucks, McDonalds, and Apple joining the fray, social networking sites are turning into havens for online business marketing and promotion. And since 55% of the people who are updating their statuses on these sites are between the ages of 18 and 44, the companies that are marketing themselves on social networks are smack dab in the middle of their customer bases.

I5 web works burst on to the Facebook scene a few months ago, and we’re so impressed with it that we encourage our clients to get their businesses out there as well. If you’re not sure how to get into the social network arena, or if you’re just too busy to maintain your account, let i5 web works do it for you!