Twitter’s appearance in Google: sort it out …
Someone at Twitter needs to read Google's guidelines to improve how the search engine shows individual tweets.
But even if Twitter itself doesn't care how it looks, clever people like Barack Obama and Russell Brand have worked out how to get individual descriptions for their Twitter page in Google. I'll explain how below ...
Every tweet has its own URL that Google indexes as a separate page. Here's the problem with how individual tweets look in Google, using Google search guru Matt Cutts's tweets.
As you can see, the page titles all begin 'Twitter / username:" - which uses up about 20 (depending on your user name) of the 60ish characters that Google shows.
The rest of the title is the start of the tweet. But because only about 30ish characters are shown, it's meaningless: "Some great info about the ..." and "A friend and I are on a sc...".
And the meta description of every page is set to the same message: "Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time."
The result? You can't tell what each tweet is about when you see it in Google.
Google will show upto about 150 characters of a meta description. And tweets are limited to 140 characters.
So, Twitter, if you're listening, the answer is obvious - use the full text of the tweet as the meta description as well as showing (the start of) it in the title.
How come Barack Obama gets his own description?
If you type someone's name into Google, and their Twitter page comes up, you usually see this:
The same message again. Occasionally, you see this, which isn't much better:
However, some people have got individual descriptions - the likes of Barack Obama and Russell Brand.
They look like this:
So how come they get individual messages?
So if you can get your Twitter page into DMOZ (good luck with that), you can have an individual description too.
The answer, however, is again a bit more obvious. There's a Bio field that you can fill out when you join Twitter. So why doesn't Twitter use that as the meta description on everyone's Twitter homepage?
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