by Ray Larson
1. Is the Twitter Firehose Back? Twitter Working with Google to Re-Integrate Search of Tweets
Twitter and Google had a deal known as the “firehose deal” which integrated tweets into google search. That deal started in 2009 but expired in 2011 and since then tweets have not been well indexed on google. Twitter is again working with Google to provide fully integrated search of tweets – meaning your tweets will have a higher place in google search.
Twitter has also reported that it is working with Apple to add more Twitter content to iOS and OS X “Spotlight” search. Apparently, some is already there with a hashtag search but Twitter’s CEO indicates that (additional) talks are in progress. No dates have been announced for either platform, but this means Twitter will be highly present on desktops – MS and Apple, and mobile devices – Chrome, Android and iOS. Check out the integration at Search Engine Land
Point is: Your tweets have a much higher chance of being indexed in search results making Twitter a much more important component of your social marketing strategy. If you aren’t tweeting yet, you’d better start.
2. “Mobilegeddon”! 40% of Websites are Not Mobile-Friendly. Is Yours?
Google did something unusual in February when they announced an algorithm update. Usually, Google is pretty mum on upcoming changes but they did warn us about “Mobilegeddon” (some have called it “Mobipacolypse”). Well, it’s here.
The change mainly involves searches conducted over mobile devices. Google now favors mobile-friendly websites in its searches that come through mobile devices. Sites need to load quickly and be optimized for smaller screens. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will be ranked lower.
The update on April 21st was just the beginning. Not all websites will be impacted – yet. The company maintains that the “best content” will still be provided on mobile searches, so, if your content is better, it may still be tops in search, even on mobile, and the new update doesn’t affect desktop searches – yet. But google tweaks its algorithm on a frequent basis. Check it out at Search Engine Land.
Point is: Up to 40 percent of websites are not mobile-friendly yet and, even though mobile only accounts for about one-third of searches, 70 percent of mobile searches reportedly lead to action within an hour.
In addition, mobile users don’t like unfriendly sites so, even if they can find you, they may wander off anyway. Even if you have made the move to mobile-friendly, you need to make sure that your development teams are working continuously to make a visit to your site a “mobilizing” experience.
3. Facebook to Integrate Search Feature… Much Like Google
Facebook is attempting to be all things to its 1.5 billion users. They recently added a news feature, and now plan on holding you on the social media site by introducing search that bypasses google.
The feature is driven by an “add a link” button which is seen when users post a status update. It simply encourages users to search right on Facebook and will run through Facebook’s content – including advertising. This enables users to act immediately when they have seen something on the site that catches their interest – keeping them on Facebook longer and giving FB more ad revenue. See more at eConsultancy.
Point is: This may not be a free ride, exactly, as it seems likely that Facebook will use an algorithm to rank results – similar to how they currently provide news. That said, it may have an impact on Google advertising, will most certainly drive Facebook’s share higher, and may leave non-Facebook advertisers behind.
4. Verizon to Acquire AOL, a News and Entertainment Powerhouse–Worth Billions
AOL is not dead! This may have come as a surprise to a lot of people but it turns out that even though no one is hearing that familiar “You’ve Got Mail” wav anymore, AOL is still alive. To top that off, AOL is worth a whopping $4.4 billion – at least to Verizon. Verizon announced a deal to acquire AOL sometime this summer, leaving many shaking their heads in wonder. So, why?
CNBC’s screaming investment guru, Jim Cramer thinks it’s a great move – and so do a lot of other people.
AOL introduced most of America to the Internet with dial-up service and, in fact, 2 million people still use dial-up through AOL, but the great majority of us have gone to other connections and now mobile is “eating” the Internet. Everything seems to be going mobile.
So why does Verizon want AOL? Well, aside from their modest dial-up service, they also have a number of tech sites and maintain a presence in news and entertainment, with over 188 million visits each month, but the biggest deal is AOL’s ability to figure out directed advertising for video. Verizon also knows a lot about its users which gives AOL even better chances at directed advertising.
This slides in well with Verizon’s plans to develop a live video service which will obviously be optimized for mobile since that is their business and they expect it to surpass other video services.
Point is: Two parts – Facebook and Google have been so successful, in part, because they developed ways to predict what users want by knowing a lot about them. Now the Verizon and AOL combo may get a piece of that action and mobile is still “eating the Internet.” Read Jim Cramer’s take at CNBC or check out the whole story at The Atlantic.