Twitter is gaining in popularity with users, marketers and with Google - another reason to start a Twitter account if you don't already have one. If you do use Twitter, search for your company name in Google and see what pops up. You might be surprised.
We searched "Website Magazine" and found our website in the first position and, somewhat surprisingly, our Twitter page in the third position. A search for "Chicago Tribune" turned up their Twitter page in the last position of the first page.
A search for "Chicago Public Golf" showed a Twitter account, @chipubgolf, on the second page, above the fold, out of more than 9 million results. This account is not associated with the Chicago Park District in any way, and the listing is above several prominent public golf courses and trusted websites that review public courses. It should also be noted that @chipubgolf has not updated their feed in about six weeks, and has under 500 followers. However, the link is to a status update - meaning it's likely that particular update was linked to or retweeted repeatedly. The website associated with that Twitter account shows up at the top of page two.
Another search for "Daily Career Tips" revealed the Twitter account @DailyCareerTips in the first position on Google. The account belongs to Susan D. Strayer, who gives career advice, and the listing was above her own website. A search for "Dallas Pro Sports" shows a Twitterholic and Friendfeed page, both at the bottom of page one, out of over 25 million results. Quite frankly, this is astounding.
These examples show that Twitter is being given serious weight in Google's search results. As such, it's more important than ever that your business has a presence. Not only is Twitter a good way to connect with consumers but, if nothing else, it pushes everything else (including your competition) further down the page. In addition, you can see that the name of your Twitter account has big implications - both the actual name and the associated name. Should you have a Twitter account named the same as a website, you stand to own three or four spots on a search results page. Squatting on Twitter names is already prolific, so make sure you get in there now and lay claim to your business or brand.
What's more, this could have big implications for local businesses. Say, for instance, you get a twitter account with the name of the industry and your location. You might then rank for that search term - like Chicago Public Golf.
To that end, we decided to run a little experiment. In honor of one of Chicago's delicacies, we created @ChicagoHotDog. We will be tweeting about appropriate content, using keywords and linking out to relevant websites - all without a website of our own. If you would like to participate in the experiment, follow @ChicagoHotDog on Twitter and we'll see if we get a Google ranking for the key phrase, "Chicago Hot Dog."