Archive for December, 2009

Google And Twitter Spam Disaster

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Google recently released it’s personalized search with the inclusion of Twitter tweets. It seems Google has made another milestone in search technology… but wait a minute, one thing Google might have missed is that this could be a recipe for spam disaster.

As Rae Hoffman of Outspoken Media points out in a recent blog post, it can be quite easy for someone to spam the results. “The most obvious thing was the ability to real time spam Google’s results.” Just posting a tweet about certain topics and your on the first page of Google!

The scary part in all this is that there seems to be no sort of spam filter to stop someone from having their tweet show up in the search results. In fact I ran my own test to see if I could post something that would show up. I searched Google for SEO and posted a few things in twitter. You’ll see I quickly dominated the twitter results with my tweets! FYI, my twitter name is @gallagherdesign

Although after running these tests I did find a possible spam filter. It seems there is a time limit between tweets that one must wait or Google won’t show your tweet. Also I noticed sometimes Google would only show 1 or 2 of my tweets and seemed to block the rest. Maybe there is hope yet!

Now back to the topic in general… What does this all mean for brands? Well image someone doesn’t like your brand or they are a competitor. They could just sit at their computer or hire someone to tweet all day about how bad your brand is. And what could you do to stop them and what they say from showing up in the search engines? Of course they could always naturally optimize a web page and do the same.

So what about Google’s brand? I noticed there are no Twitter results showing up in the search results when you search the keyword “Google“. Or at least when I searched I found none. In addition it looks like a lot of brands I checked out don’t have twitter results showing up on the first search results page but rather you have to go into the options and click the “latest” link to see them.

Maybe with time Google will also add a Webmaster Tool where you can opt in or out of allowing these types of results to show up for your brand - probably would only be for big brands though like Nike or Walmart. It would be smart for them to add something like that.