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Twitter Now A Leading Influencer Thanks to an Algorithm Change

photo courtesy of Carrot Creative

One of Twitter’s greatest challenges as been to get the credit it deserves as a major driver of traffic to websites. Part of this has been related to the vast number of Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck that have muddied up the source of links from Twitter.

Did that make any sense to you? This is uber geek stuff right here. Let me see if I can break it down and explain why this is important to mom bloggers.

Basically, now all links coming from Twitter that are longer than 20 characters whether from Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Bit.ly are wrapped in code that makes them “t.co” links. This means that Twitter now gets FULL credit for the traffic generated from Twitter links.

Here’s a quote from The Next Web offering Twitter’s explanation and possible motivation (full article here).

Twitter’s public explanation for wrapping all links in a t.co URL is to protect users from malicious sites and scams. The side effect, and Twitter definitely knows this, is that analytics tools will now categorise all traffic from both Twitter.com and all Twitter clients as traffic coming from Twitter. Whereas before it would be divided amongst all the various twitter clients (usually just as “direct traffic”) and specific pages on Twitter.com never directly from the tweet.

So, if you’re a blogger, you may have seen this already. I noticed a few days ago that I was getting some traffic from a new referrer.

What does it mean? When I add it to the traffic from Twitter.com, it increases the number of referrals to my site by more than 25%. This is pretty significant, and brings it on par with my traffic from Facebook.

So, why does this matter to mom bloggers? If you’re working with brands, you can expect them to now put a much higher value on Twitter. It will be easier to track incoming links from Twitter, so brands can get a better sense of the impact Twitter has on their traffic.

In addition, and possibly of even greater value, is the increased functionality of analytics. The Next Web breaks it down.

You can also now quickly discover which specific tweet sent by whom brought that surge of traffic. Doing that before was a really cumbersome process. Simply grab the URL from your analytics, e.g. this one: http://t.co/ISHbpUw and search Twitter with it.

It’s possible that Twitter will follow this up with its own analytic tool, which will make bit.ly have to step up their game considerably. Overall, though, this helps strengthen the turf they’ve carved out in social media, and makes them an even bigger player. Which rocks in my mind, since Twitter wins the social media battle of my heart by far. Anyway, check your incoming links and see how it changes the picture for you.

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