Google Indexes Tweets more and more

Google Indexes Tweets more and more pixelwork

Google Indexes Tweets more and more

On February 4, 2015, there was news of a new agreement between Google and Twitter, and on May 19 the new agreement was launched. On February 10, 2015, we took an impression of how Google indexes the tweets before the agreement went into effect. Today, we're releasing data on how Google is indexing tweets, now that the deal has been in place for a number of weeks.

TL; DR, we see a significant increase in the indexing of tweets by Google, but Google is a long, long way from indexing all tweets. Google is being selective in what they are choosing to index, and it certainly skews towards people with the largest number of followers or “authority” (we use Followerwonk's Social Authority as a measure of authority).

Indexing of tweets andIn the first 7 days it increased from around 0,6% in February to 3,4% in June. That's a impressive increase of 466%, but still leaves more than 96% of the tweets out of Google index. In no way do I think this is the end of the story. I would bet that Google is trying a lot of things with the Twitter integration, and that we will see changes over time. Don't worry, we will repeat our tests permanently!

It's easy for us to believe that Google captures all the data found everywhere on the web. After all, they have the best data capture infrastructure on planet Earth. However, that doesn't mean they have no limits. They do, and they have to be selective. Even with this new Twitter deal where they get all the tweets from Twitter, it's just too much for them to gather and index.

That doesn't mean your indexation rate won't expand over time. They may well do so, but they will only do so after they find an effective use.

One of the most interesting areas to explore is the speed with which Google indexes the tweets. People have long believed that Google puts more weight on more recent tweets. For that reason, the indexing of tweets per day was evaluated during the first 7 days. That leaves the question of how this has changed between February and June, and here is his detailed answer:


There is clear evidence here that Google has significantly recovered its indexing level, with an increase of 466%. This is a great thing, and probably brings a lot of incremental value to Twitter. However, Google is still not indexing 96,6% of the data.

We also look at indexing based on number of followers. Both February and June show a strong bias toward indexing content tweeted by people with larger follower counts:


Note that the time horizon used for this June data segment was 7 weeks, so the previous ones in that sample are from before when Google will use the new agreement with Twitter, so the increase levels are somewhat attenuated by that.

We also take a look at Followerwonk's social authority-based data, to see how it might vary:


We believe that using social authority is a better metric to use in the future, as it takes into account the level of engagement with a person's tweets (which a simple follower count does not do). In this view, you can see a strong inclination towards indexing content from older people of authority. This suggests that Google is looking at more than the number of followers to choose which tweets it wants to index.


A fixed set of users was used in this study. The data sample of employed people was 900+ users which were the same as those used in both February and June of this year. Note that we also tested that exact same sample of users in a Twitter indexing study in July 2014).

Using the same set of users is important, since we do not know what criteria Google may use to evaluate whether or not to index tweets. However, we use the same number of users, trying to eliminate some of those variables.


As noted during the TL; DR At first, Twitter's indexing by Google has given a significant jump upwards, perhaps as much as 4,66 times. That's significant, but they are still clearly not indexing the vast majority of tweets.

I expect to see significant changes in the way Google uses Twitter data in the future, and we'll continue to monitor here at Stone Temple Consulting.

Source: stonetemple