Optimizing Twitter Tweet Titles

Twitter2009-03-08 - The Twitter Tweet Title appears differently depending on where you are viewing it. I'll be discussing one specific area that is of high value to all of us from a marketing perspective and that is the <title> that is displayed in your Tweets. Read more on Optimizing Twitter Titles...

Table of Contents

  1. The Tweet - What are you doing?
  2. Twitter Title Character Counts
  3. Twitter Titles use your Name and not Username
  4. Retweets and Twitter Status Titles
  5. Retweet Suggestions
  6. 287,400,000 Status (es) Indexed in the Past 24 Hours (as of 2009-08-05)
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The Tweet - What are you doing?

What Are You Doing?

Once you perform an Update on Twitter it then gets archived to your /username/status/ area. As of this date and time, Twitter is using a 10 digit number range for statuses. One of my more recent Tweets has a status of...

http://Twitter.com/pageoneresults/status/1292774621

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Twitter Title Character Counts

The <title>s for Twitter Updates vary in length depending on the Name of the Twit and the first few words/characters of the Tweet. My research, based on a small results set, shows a range of 48-61 characters and that includes one space and an ellipsis (...) as a truncation indicator.

The Twitter <title> has a default construct of...

Twitter / Profile Name: Snippet from first line of Tweet ...

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Twitter Status Titles use your Name and not Username

Twitter Profile Name Tweet Statuses are <title>ed with your Name, not your Twitter Username. So if you have a different Username, please remember that your Tweets are being titled with your profile Name instead. See image at right showing Profile Name.

In my instance where I have a different Username of pageoneresults and then my Profile Name of Edward Lewis, my Tweet Titles look like this...

Twitter / Edward Lewis: Snippet from first line of Tweet ...

I've seen many who have the same Username/Name which solves the challenges of branding one over the other.

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Retweets and Twitter Status Titles

Retweeting appends the beginning of the original Tweet <title>. I'm suggesting all Retweets be Scrubbed before releasing into the Twitter Network. I've seen, and have participated in the practice of Retweeting Retweets of someone else's Retweeted Retweet. Ya, I used 4 instances of Retweet in that last sentence.

You end up with a Status <title> getting indexed that looks something like this...

Twitter / Edward Lewis: RT @Username RT @Username RT @Use ...

In the above example, I Retweeted the first Username who Retweeted the second Username who Retweeted the third Username who Retweeted... get the picture?

The example above uses the estimated truncation point of 61 characters for the Twitter <title> Element. This is not a fixed count, it is dynamic based on the default Twitter / and then length of the Profile Name, whether it is concatenated or not, along with the balance of the Tweet Snippet.

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RT @ RT @ RT @

RT Frenzy

Twitter / Edward Lewis: RT @Username RT @Username RT @Use ...

The original <title> of the Tweet has now morphed into an RT frenzy and there is no indication of what that Tweet is about, it has been forced into truncation. Remember, Twitter utilizes the first 48-61 characters of the Tweet to construct the <title>. In this instance, it is filled with RTs and Usernames.

The <title> Element is the most important part of the page. Maintaining <title> integrity during Tweets is imperative if you are looking at this from a Twitter Search Optimization perspective. If you don't believe me, just search for your brand and/or unique keyword phrase here...

http://Search.Twitter.com/

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Retweet Suggestions

Front LoaderThink about the formatting of your Retweet and assist the original Twit with a little #TSO. Move their Tweet to the front of your Retweet or do what is referred to as Front Loading, we'll call these Front Loaded Tweets.

Next put the RT @Username at the end of their Retweeted content and add your comment at the end. This allows RT Statuses to maintain <title> integrity in relation to the original Tweet. Think about Tweet relationships at a micro-level.

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Front Loaded Retweet Example

RT Example: http://Twitter.com/pageoneresults/statuses/1296820439

Twitter Title Example
Twitter Status Example

Note: When Scrubbing Retweets be sure to leave a space between the RT and @Username or the Username will not link e.g. RT @Username and not RT@Username. The RT@Username could be misconstrued as an invalid email address.

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287,400,000 Status (es) Indexed in the Past 24 Hours

As of 2009-08-05 at 13:00 PDT, there are over 244,000,000 /status/ and 43,400,000 /statuses/ that have been indexed by Google in the past 24 hours. Note that Twitter have major challenges with duplicate content (Tweets) being indexed. There are multiple entry points for each /status/ and or /statuses/.

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