Think Social Media Killed SEO? Not Quite. Twitter Credits SEO for 10x Traffic Increase

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Over the last few years, there has been a lot of chatter of SEO slowly going the way of the dinosaur in the face of the meteoric adoption of social media. We’re not going to go into that particular debate today.

But what we can tell you is during the recent Twitter Analyst Day, the social media giant credited its SEO efforts as having increased its number of logged out visitors ten-fold.

According to Twitter’s director of product management, Trevor O’Brien, the social media giant began its SEO efforts this year. This led to the increase in the number of logged out visitors from 7.5 million per month to its current 75 million visitors per month. That’s as huge spike in traffic, even for Twitter.

Twitter Used to Have All the SEO-Love It Wanted

The irony is that Twitter used to have all the SEO-love it needed from Google three years ago. At that time, Twitter provided Google with complete (paid) access to the Twitter Firehose. This collaboration led to Google releasing a new service called Real Time Search, in which tweets played a huge role.

Twitter effectively ended that partnership a few years later, choosing to bet on itself and go the distance on its own. But it underestimated how important organic search traffic is and the scale of the technical issues it has that impeded SEO.

After all, one of the main reasons for the partnership was that Google cannot crawl Twitter’s entire database without bringing the latter to its knees. The partnership seemed like a win-win situation for both at the time.

Twitter also signed an agreement with Bing, which still continues to this day (they even took a dig at Google a few days after the Twitter-Google deal ended).

Twitter not only ended the partnership, but went as far as to block Google from indexing its tweets for a month after Google launched Google+.

Google quietly took Real Time Search offline not long after. From the reports online, it seems that the entire episode left a sour taste in Google’s mouth. It invested a lot of time and effort into the partnership, more so than any other partnership it had. It looks unlikely that the search behemoth that commands 70% market share will want to go through that anytime soon, even if Twitter offered access for free.

Does Twitter Want to Get Back Together?

Twitter Get Back with Google

Although Twitter has not (and probably will not) outright say that they regretted their decisions to thumb their noses at Google, its actions speak volumes. Judging from the Twitter Analyst Day and latest earnings call, SEO looks to be a major part of their future marketing strategy. Except now they will have to do regular SEO like the rest of us mere mortals.

Google seems to be doing much better after the break up, and we don’t expect the jilted search engine to shed any tears soon.