Elon Musk decided to block public tweets from unregistered or signed-out users last Friday. This action has had a significant impact on Google’s ability to index Twitter’s content for its standard crawling purposes. It appears that the number of Twitter URLs indexed by Google has decreased by approximately 52% since the block was initiated a few days ago.
Even though the site command isn’t the most accurate tool for gauging what Google has indexed, it’s one of the few available free tools that can measure the number of pages Google has indexed for a site without requiring Search Console level access. Screenshots were taken to capture the number of pages Google indexed from Twitter.com right after the block was initiated by Barry Schwartz.
On Friday, June 30th, around 1pm ET, there were 471 million URLs from Twitter indexed in Google Search. By the next day, July 2nd, the number had decreased by 34%, down to 309 million URLs, a reduction of 162 million URLs. The downward trend continued, and by the morning of July 3rd, the count had dropped to 227 million URLs, representing a 52% decrease from the initial count on Friday. today, Monday 3rd this number is 178.000.000.
What does this mean for advertisers on Twitter?
Well for once, if you Google “Elon Musk Twitter” you won’t be able to find the Tesla boss’ Twitter profile anymore. But more importantly, what does this do to the traffic to Twitter and to the advertisers paying for the Traffic?
The decrease in the number of indexed Twitter URLs by Google may have implications for advertisers, especially those who rely on organic search visibility through Twitter for their marketing strategy.
- Reduced Visibility: With the drop in indexed Twitter URLs, there’s likely to be a decrease in the visibility of tweets in Google’s search results. This means that content shared on Twitter, including promotional tweets or tweets that mention or link to a brand, may have less reach through organic search than before. This could potentially limit the exposure of certain ads or promotional content.
- Impact on SEO: For businesses that use Twitter as part of their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, this change may impact their SEO performance. If tweets from the brand or about the brand used to appear in Google search results and contribute to the brand’s online visibility, this reduction in indexed URLs might result in a lower search ranking.
- Change in Strategy Needed: Advertisers might need to revise their digital marketing strategies, particularly if they were leveraging the visibility of their tweets in Google search results. They may need to invest more in other social media platforms, paid advertising, or other SEO techniques to maintain their online visibility and reach.
- Less Data for Analysis: There might be less data available for analysis from organic search results if fewer tweets are appearing in Google search. This could potentially impact an advertiser’s understanding of how their content is performing in organic search.
- Potential Traffic Decrease: If a significant amount of a brand’s traffic was coming from their Twitter presence appearing in Google Search, they might see a decrease in website visits.
It’s important to note that the impact will vary based on how much a brand or advertiser relies on Twitter and Google search as part of their advertising and marketing strategy.
Despite this, Google still has access to the Twitter firehose, which allows Google to continue displaying recent tweets in the Twitter Google Search carousel. However, for the regular indexing of Twitter URLs, it appears as if these tweets are becoming less visible in the index.
From Friday to the present day, the number of Twitter URLs indexed went from approximately 471 million to 227 million, representing a drop of about 52%. It’s intriguing to ponder the potential impact this might have on Twitter’s traffic from Google Search.