Just in Time for Valentine’s: Google and Twitter a #MatchMadeInHeaven?


“Two corporations, both alike in dignity,

In fair California, where we lay our scene,

From early love break to user-friendly services,

Where unsigned contracts make civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two friends

A pair of star-cross’d lovers together in the end.”

Twitter and Google have had quite the rocky relationship over the past couple of years.

In 2009, Twitter signed a deal with Google that gave it access to “Twitter Firehose”, its streaming API. This groundbreaking contract gave Google access to each and every tweet that was produced on Twitter in real time. This functionality was the core of a new Google service called “Real Time Search.”

Google’s Real Time Search was released on December 7, 2009. The goal was to serve content and information relevant to users’ search queries in real time. This feature included real time updates from Twitter, as well as content from Google News and newly created and freshly updated webpages, but Twitter was the real star of the Real Time Search feed.


By November 2010, Twitter and Google’s relationship grew deeper and Google took their relationship public. Google started carrying Twitter’s paid ads, which marked the first time Google ever carried ads from a network other than its own.


In 2011 however, things started getting rocky. Twitter started pulling away from Google and changed the locks to the Firehouse API connection. Heartbroken, Google eventually shut down the entire Real Time Search service with an announcement that stated, “Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future.”

Speculation and rumors started spreading that Twitter left Google for Bing.


By the end of the breakup, Twitter suffered a huge loss of visibility on Google’s search results because it didn’t seem to consider how it would affect their SEO. People had no way to locate tweets that were older than a few days.

Finally, in 2014, Twitter made a strategic move to boost its SEO by making 50,000 popular hashtag pages accessible to Googlebot and other web crawlers. This increased Twitter’s organic visibility and helped generate a 10x increase in logged-out visitors to the social network.


And now, in February 2015, Google and Twitter have decided to try to work things out just in time for the big V-day celebration.

During Twitter’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Dick Costolo confirmed that Twitter will once again connect its Firehouse API to Google. This is all part of Twitter’s master plan to grow its user base by targeting “logged out” consumers and explore monetization opportunities.

If you do a Google search on a trending topic, it is likely that the search results will return a dated article. Since Twitter is a very “in the moment” social network where people go to share timely news quickly, connecting to Twitter’s API will make data results in Google appear quicker and more prominently, even to those who aren’t on Twitter.

We are excited that these star-crossed lovers have rekindled their relationship and are looking forward to real time updates in search results coming soon. This could have a huge effect on your Twitter/SEO Strategy, as tweet optimization may become more important than ever.

Just be careful what you tweet, because soon everyone will be able to see.


Melissa Sciorra

Melissa Sciorra, SEO Director. Follow her @mel_arroics!

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