How Does Twitter’s ‘Who To Follow’ Work?
Thing is, it’s a piece of software which compiles a list based on what you put in – so it works pretty much like regular search engine optimisation.
Just like on-page SEO, if you put what you want to be seen for into your username and your bio, then you stand a good chance of showing up for it if someone else specifies those words in the parameters for who they want to find.
I found out because I typed in Local SEO – and there I was, half way down the page but in the company of some of my gurus! Which was very flattering indeed.
I typed in Local SEO Services and there I was again – but much higher up the page.
If you look in my bio, I specifically mention Local SEO Services, so that’s why I’m there. And I know that this works for regular SEO because my Twitter profile page has come up on the SERPs for Local SEO Services in the past.
Checking out my home town of Leigh on Sea, the people who were closest to the top were those with Leigh on Sea in their user name and their bio.
But… of course, you knew there was going to be a ‘but’ didn’t you…
As with everything computer related, it’s not just about the words on the page. It’s also about the amount of human interactions and followers – the off-page stuff.
So, whilst I also have the words ‘social media’ in my bio, I can’t find myself on the first page because, guess what, the social media peeps post and interact with each other all the time so you’d have to get up pretty early in the morning and start tweeting all day every day in order to compete for that term.
Refining the search to social media marketing manager, I did find Lilach. I compared her stats to those of the people around her and there was nothing obvious like more followers or more tweets to accurately say that was the reason she was between LaSandraBrill and Awarenessinc. Although LaSandraBrill has considerably less tweets and followers to her name, she does have an exact match for the search term in her bio, whereas lilach only has social media and then later marketer. And awarenessinc has social media marketing but not manager and also has less tweets and followers than lilach.
It’s obvious that there is definitely something more to the algorithm that makes these decisions.
Researching the topic, I found an article by Search Engine Land on the who to follow results which says that it was told by Twitter: “the algorithm looks at a variety of factors, including your profile information, engagement on Twitter, who you follow, and who follows you” and another on quora called how does Twitters follow suggestion algorithm work which gives further suggestions.
And again, like regular SEO, the crucial factor on where you rank in the list seems to be about the quality of the people who follow you – and who follows them. This means that you can have thousands of followers but if they’re not considered authority tweeters, Twitter will not count them so highly in your favour when it decides how to rank you.
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Tags: twitter who to follow