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Twitter lists for SEO

Photo courtesy Tina White Lights via Flickr

Photo courtesy Tina White Lights via Flickr

Lots of people are talking about Twitter’s new List functionality. In a feature long overdue, Twitter now allows you to divide up the people you follow into manageable chunks, based on topics, geography or anything else you like. The idea is similar to Facebook Lists, which we’ve covered here before. Playing around with Twitter Lists, it seems like a useful way to organize your contacts (if a little buggy at first). Still, there’s an aspect of this that’s attracting less attention but is just as important: Lists come with dedicated URLs that you can make public, providing a big opportunity for search engine optimization.

Search engines like Google love social content because it’s frequently updated, and helping people find your content through search is a growing focus for professional communicators trying to ensure visibility for their key messages. That’s the idea behind a session I’ll lead with Edelman Digital’s Gary Goldhammer at PRSA International next month titled Leverage the Power of Pull [PDF]. Twitter Lists are perfect for this: any list of tweeters you create is given a dedicated URL consisting of your username and up to 25 characters that you specify, such as http://twitter.com/jaykrall/a-few-folks-at-cision. If you make it public, anyone logged in to Twitter can then view tweets from the people you have chosen.

As Google and Microsoft Bing begin indexing more content from social sites, Lists may offer us a new way to curate information in highly useful and visible ways. What groups of people can you pull together that others might find interesting?

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