Techcrunch today are reporting that Twitter has just tweaked the title pages on Twitter users pages to now include users names at the start of the tags instead of the end.
So my tags now read – ‘Darren Rowse (problogger) on Twitter’ instead of ‘Twitter / ProBlogger’.
This might not sound like much but it’s actually a fairly significant tweak when it comes to search engine optimization and has already increased the search engine rankings for Twitter for the names of those using it.
For example – on a search for my name in Google (not that I’d ever search for it…..) my Twitter page now ranks #3 whereas it previously ranked less than 10th (on the second page). Many twitter users that I’ve just done searches for now have their twitter pages rank at #1 for their names.
There are a number of implications for this:
1. It could be useful (or not) for reputation management – online reputation managers often teach about how it is important to ‘control’ the top listings. The more results that you control in the top 10 search results for your name/brand the less likely people are to find negative things about you. Of course this could also be used for ‘evil’ by people wanting to hurt your reputation
2. Twitter is outranking many users homepages/blogs – I’m lucky to have a blog that ranks higher for my name than my Twitter page but as mentioned above there are quite a few Twitter users whose Twitter pages outrank their own home pages. This won’t phase some – but I know a few people who will be a bit ‘miffed’ by this.
In fact I just chatted to one blogger who is now outranked for his own name by Wikipedia (he didn’t even start that page (and doesn’t really ‘control’ what appears on it), LinkedIn, Technorati and now Twitter. His own blog (with his name in the URL even) ranks 5th for his name!
update: there’s a poll at Tweet Social asking people where their Twitter page ranks in Google – it is early days but most seem to be reporting rankings between #1-#3.
3. Good for Twitter’s Growth – as the Techcrunch article explains, this will certainly increase the number of people hitting Twitter as a result of search results. I guess this is potentially good for Twitter users as it means more and more people will be on the network.
Interested to hear your thoughts on this SEO tweak by Twitter?