Twitter is teaming up with Google to bring Twitter’s real-time content to Google’s search results.
As Twitter’s Jana Messerschmidt (@janamal), VP Global Business Development & Platform announced a couple days ago, Google users will now see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly.
What’s it mean for lawyers? A couple things.
One, people searching your name, as any prospective client would, will see your Twitter handle and Tweets displayed prominently, often at the top of the search results page. On some searches you’ll see a person’s name and Twitter handle displayed above the search results themselves.
Here’s the results for a search I did for Sally Falkow (@sallyfalkow), a digital PR and social media strategist from Los Angeles. Her name, picture and link to Twitter right at top above the search results. And I didn’t include any reference to Twitter in my search, I just searched her name.
Here’s the first four results on Google on a search for my name. You’ll see the fourth being my Twitter handle, picture and my live tweets. A user can scroll to the right to see more of my current tweets. If they click on the tweet, they’ll go to Twitter for the complete tweet and the media associated with the tweet.
You got it. If you have a Twitter account and do not use it, everyone will know it. You can draw your own conclusions as to what that says about you. Tweeted three times three years ago? Don’t have a picture of yourself?
You may have also created a problem for yourself if you created a Twitter handle in a pseudonym such as ‘Mississippi Injury Lawyer.’ Your tweets may not get seen in Google when people do a search on your name and the social signals influencing search on Google could be lost.
On the other hand if you are staying abreast of business and legal developments in your field and share what you are reading on Twitter anyone searching your name will know you’re on top of your game. They’ll also know you’re more innovative than most lawyers.
Second, tagged content on Twitter will be displayed on Google searches. Here’s a search I did just now for #SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). You’ll see legal news displayed from the LexBlog Network and Reuters.
It’s hard to tell how tags on Google will be used. Most people following Twitter tags will use the Twitter app to do so. However the Tweets will now be indexed on Google by subject and source. This gives Google yet another social signal of your degree of influence on an area of the law.
No one knows for sure where things will head when Google experiments like this. But I’ll bet there was a strong mutual interest for getting tweets indexed on Google.
Twitter has been floundering business-wise of late. Doing something sexy like this and getting its name out in the news and throughout Google doesn’t hurt. Twitter pulled its tweets off Google years ago, now they’re back.
For Google, they’re indexing more content, particularly content based on social media. That can help Google better surface what people want to see. Google+ didn’t give Google this the way they planned.
Bottom line, I see the move as making Twitter more relevant and more important for lawyers
Image courtesy of Flickr by Scott Beale