Tweets from Twitter Showing Up in Google News Results
If you’ve been following what has been going on with reddit, then you would have known about the big revolt that has taken place on the front page of the internet. To sum it up in one sentence, popular sub-reddits have been temporarily closed down after a popular community manager (officially, communications director) was fired recently by reddit. It wasn’t handled well, as she was integral to the management of many of the popular celebrities who posted on /r/IAMA, yet the moderators of that sub-reddit complained at the lack of communication. There’s been resentment against the people running reddit, especially the interim CEO of reddit, Ellen Pao, who has been ripped to pieces for her apparent mismanagement of reddit. Now redditors are looking for alternatives to reddit.
One alternative is a website called voat.co, which has been bombarded so hard with new visitors that their website displays an error message when you try to visit it.
Now, on to the point of this post. This is actually the first time I’ve come across normal Twitter users appearing in Google News results. Back on May 19th, Google and Twitter announced a data partnership that allows Google to access data from Twitter. As a result of this, Twitter has a prominent area in Google’s search results that shows tweets that are trending in real-time. What has surprised me, however, was the fact that Google has also given Twitter another source of traffic – real estate in Google News:
It’s interesting how Unidan, once a popular user on reddit, and a normal user on Twitter (not even a verified Twitter account), is appearing in Google News. For those that don’t know, Unidan was shadow banned in 2014 after employees at reddit discovered that he had created several reddit accounts to manipulate upvotes on his own comments. That’s not to say that Unidan is now gaming Google, but perhaps his popularity on Twitter, with 2.8k followers, has given his account enough authority to be listed on Google News?
My theory is, because Voat is a relatively new brand, Google are still trying to pull in trusted sources for news associated with that brand and somehow a random user on Twitter who has mentioned the brand is being shown as a result. Whatever the case, could Twitter users showing up in Google News become the norm?
There was also no inclusion of a hash tag, but the mere mention of the term ‘Voat’ seems to have triggered this.
It’s interesting that this sort of thing can happen when topics or brands are trending, as this is quite obviously a valuable source of traffic.
I’ve re-checked 5 hours later and the tweet is no longer showing up in Google News. Instead, I’m seeing everything else that was in Google News, minus the Tweet from Unidan.