Can Nofollow Twitter Links be Used for SEO? 

Tue, Mar 16, 2010

Link Building

Ever since Twitter hit mainstream, SEO professionals have been experimenting with the system to find some way to leverage it for search engine optimization.  While backlinking could have been an incredible function, Twitter had set it up so that all links were nofollow.  Thus, web marketers were found promoting their names and focusing on their networks. 
 
SEO guys don’t give up early, and the search did not stop there.  Talk in the field has returned to Twitter as news emerged that Google could now access the Twitter database and crawl its systems.  Combine that with the more frequent conversation on the scene that nofollow links may be more relevant than many originally assumed, and a new interest has sparked.
 
In a recent article on SEOmoz.org, they talked about an experiment they did recently to test the effect of nofollow Twitter links by releasing posts on a commercial advertisement profile every half hour with trackable URLs.
 
It took no more than a few days before they verified that every single link placed on Twitter amounted in at least one Googlebot visit, even though they were nofollow.  In fact, the most encouraging part of the findings was that links placed on Twitter resulted in Googlebot visits 150 times as fast! 

Not to mention that the visits came more often than visits from internal links, resulting in less than an hour on average while visits through internal links often took up to 14 hours to send the bots.  The study went on to double check that the Twitter Googlebot visits were indexing pages, and they were. 
 
While some results were off, possibly due to variables used in the study, the end conclusion was that it was possible to index websites using Twitter accounts, and it may be a good way to speed up the indexing of newer pages as well as index links that cannot be found internally. 

Whether Google or Twitter catches wind of these sitemapping tricks in the future and makes moves to get rid of them or make them obsolete, for now it seems to be working.  Not to mention this is another interesting addition to recent speculations about nofollow links and their role in search engine optimization. Read about the study for yourself and check out data graphs at SEOmoz Article.

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This post was written by:

Jonatas Leonel - who has written 9 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.