Google SERPs Without Twitter and Facebook
The rumor of the week is that potential suitors are valuing Twitter at $8 billion to $10 billion, with those potential suitors rumored to be Google, Microsoft or Facebook. Further speculation on Search Engine Land details the financial scenarios that do exist to make an acquisition a reality. This really gets me considering the implications, could be a massive game changer. Whoever buys Twitter will have the most updated real-time content online.
First consider these SEO Moz test results from Twitter links versus traditional text links in ranking pages within the Google search results; it is clear that Google is placing significant weight on links from Twitter and Facebook. So what if Facebook and Twitter no longer permitted Google-bot access their websites? TripAdvisor did it. Google’s algorithm would have to be seriously adjusted. It would probably end up in pushing Google search results to displaying only yesterday’s news and information, instead of real-time search results currently based upon the linking patterns Google-bot gets from Twitter and Facebook.
The facts are quite simple that without Twitter and Facebook links, Google’s sort of screwed. Unfortunately Google’s recent behavior has created a bit of industry anger towards its online business practices, and the backlash could bring their demise. Many agree with me that this is why Groupon did not sell to Google.
Scenario #1: Microsoft acquires Twitter.
This would give Bing its first leg up on Google in search, assuming they do not share the Twitter data with Google. Now Bing becomes a very viable search engine competitor, exclusive real time search results, and quite possibly much better results than Google (not today’s Google but Google results without Twitter data) . Or Microsoft could probably license access to Twitter to Google for hundreds of millions of dollars. Bing needs to do something, it’s floundering as many companies do when they are not really committed to being the best.
Scenario #2: Facebook acquires Twitter.
Google now has a much bigger problem, potential elimination from all real time search. Facebook is the number one visited website in the world. Their problem is their visitors are not interested in buying anything, they do not click on ads, and this is becoming a problem for the future of Facebook. It is the old school internet business model on steroids: build it, make it cool and free, get traffic, and with traffic all your problems will be solved. Now if you roll Twitter into Facebook, you do not get any better profit generation, but now you hold all the cards in real time search. Facebook could place extraordinary value on this real time data, and begin to charge search engines massive amounts of fees to access their websites and data. And this model keeps Facebook and Twitter free to users.