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Did you know that Twitter search uses both your domain name and your page name as factors in part of its search algorithm, even when you go through some URL shorteners? But it depends WHICH URL shorteners.


I started this test by accident. As you do. I regularly check on whether anyone has said anything about various clients. I used twitter search on this occassion to search for “majesticseo” and found a result in Greek!:



You’ll notice that the word I searched for was not in the post by xNikos and if you are even more inquisitive, you’d also notoce that the search word was not even on the visible text on the landing page (except as an image). No – Twitter decided to parse the bit.ly URL and analyze the URL of the end domain. Then it used the domain name as part of its search algorithm.


Twitter also parses page names and part URLS


Spotting xniko had deep lilnked, I then looked to see if Twitter would return the same tweet when I searched for the filename only… “comparedomainhistory.php” and then the filename without the extension “caomparedomainhistory”. Yep in both cases:



and



So THANKS nNikos, for starting me on a Twitter search analysis. You are wasting my Sunday night – but thanks!


Testing hyphens vs underscores


I found that Twitter is treating hypens as spaces, but underscores it treats as characters. I tested this on the URL: http://www.ferry-to-france.co.uk/dover_calais.html and found that when I shortened this in bit.ly, whilst Twittercould easily find it with a search for “ferry france” (without the “to” incidentally):



The same search engine failed when searching for just “calais”, even though it coped with a search for “dover_calais”:



Not all URL shortners are parsed properly by Twitter.


Unfortunately, for me at least, this counts as a black mark against using your own URL shortener – something I have always been keen on. We have our own URL shortner – r3.ms – so we don’t lose control of our URLs for as long as we can. But doing the same test using this URL shortener fails. I set up :



The above search was MEANT to pick up http://www.ferry-to-france.co.uk/corsica.html which I tweeted via http://r3.ms/2t, but no joy.


So what did I learn?



  • Using Bit.ly has benefits on Twitter Search in the algo. I haven’t tested others.

  • Twitter searches words in domains (treating hypens as spaces)

  • Twitter search for words in filenames with or without extensions

  • Twitter does NOT treat an underscore as a space, but rather as a character.

Enjoy and please let me know if you publish more data abourt other URL shorteners or if you can take my fuindings further.


Dixon.


(If you would like some internet marketing consultancy, give us a shout)