Feb 6, 2015 113 reads by Ritu Sharma

Twitter and Google have again signed an agreement. This is to provide Google with access to Twitter full stream of tweets. Commonly known the Twitter “firehose”, the news was formally announced on Twitter earnings call by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

Costolo did not announce it during formal presentations but rather as part of an answer to a question which was not even specific about Google. He confirmed there was a deal, and after that said that he does not have any more details to be shared at that time.

Later on being asked how this deal differed from the previous one that Twitter had with Google in 2009-2011, Costolo answered, “We’ve got the opportunity now to drive a lot of attention to and aggregate eyeballs, if you will, to these logged-out experiences, topics and events that we plan on delivering on the front page of Twitter. And that’s one of the reasons this makes a lot more sense for us now."

Costolo was referring to the experiments and changes that Twitter has been doing to better convert people who came across it content but are not logged into Twitter.

This follows on Twitter having improved its SEO efforts last fall to increase Google traffic, which resulted in getting 10 times more logged out visitors. After a taste of that traffic, it’s no wonder Twitter wants to give Google even more content in hope of getting better and bigger returns.

To see how this Twitter-Google partnership will play out, read this FAQ.

1. What is the deal all about?

Twitter will be providing Google access to Tweets from its service. The assumption is that this is for a full stream of tweets since Google already has access to some tweets. Google itself gave no comment about the deal.

2. Cant Google just crawl Twitter for tweets?

Google can and does, however amidst so many tweets, if Google tried to capture them all as they happened in a traditional search engine manner, by constantly visiting the site and crawling to find new ones, it would likely hang Twitter with all its requests. As a result Google has been finding popular tweets and it hasn’t been finding tweets as quickly as it or its users might like. Twitter with its new proposal of providing Google direct access to a feed of tweets makes it easier for Google to have a comprehensive collection of tweets and index them as they arrive. That’s the whole “firehose” thing you hear about. Twitter is directing this stream of tweets — now over 6,000 per minute, from stats it gave out today — to Google (as it does with other partners like Bing).

3. Why does Google want Twitter’s tweets?

Tweets are filled with great and often timely content. The tweets themselves should help Google’s search results be more relevant to its users. Data associated with the tweets might also help Google spot and better surface important content outside of Twitter.

4. Is Google paying for the tweets?

This time, there’s a good chance it’s not paying much, given that Twitter itself is apparently coming to Google wanting more visibility in its search results.

5. Why does Twitter care about being in Google?

Twitter understands that Google can send it tons of free traffic — visitors that Twitter, in turn, can place ads in front of.Last year, Twitter made a change to improve the ability for Google to gather more of its content. In turn, that lead to a 10-times increase of logged-out visitors to Twitter. Partnering fully with Google will make it likely much more of Twitter’s relevant content will appear before Google visitors, sending Twitter lots of traffic that it can use to convert into new Twitter users or to show ads.

6. Will Twitter get special treatment in Google?

While Google itself isn’t answering questions about the deal, it would be difficult for it to promise better rankings without doing some type of disclosure. It also doesn’t make much sense. More likely, tweets will just continue to appear as they already do — when deemed relevant, within the regular web search listings.

7. No special Twitter search area at Google, either?

Google had built an entire service called Google Real Time Search largely around Twitter’s information, in December 2009. But when the last deal with Twitter collapsed in July 2011, Google Real Time Search quickly died with it. While the new deal will give Google a new sense of reassurance, it’ll still be wary enough not to construct a dedicated Twitter search area nor necessarily spotlight tweets on their own within regular search results. But to the degree Google already highlights social content in search, Twitter might get easier inclusion that way.

8. Did the collapse of the last deal mean Google had no tweets at all?

No. Twitter did make changes that cut Google off from gathering its data after the formal deal ended. That seemed likely an accidental mistake that was quickly corrected. Instead, ending the deal simply meant Google couldn’t get all the tweets it had gathered before, nor in as timely manner. But it always had some tweets being included. As for why the last deal ended in 2011, that’s never been publicly explained by either side. The WSJ has a fresh take today citing unnamed sources that puts it down to Twitter not feeling it was driving traffic, revenue or new users plus concerns that Google might use Twitter data to improve its rival Google+ service.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that nothing out of this will launch for “several months.”

Twitter Gives Google Access To Full Stream Tweets!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Ritu Sharma
Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Adwords Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently oversees Content Marketing operations of PageTraffic in India.
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