Twitter’s Model Fairness: 17 Years & 12 Million Key phrases

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On July 24, Elon Musk made the shock announcement that Twitter could be rebranding as ‘X’, with a brand new brand and model id arriving rapidly after that announcement. Shortly after, X.com began redirecting (302) to Twitter.com.

Any skilled search engine optimisation is aware of how perilous a significant website migration might be, and Twitter.com has been accumulating authority for 17 years. Listed here are a few stats from Moz’s Area Overview software:

Screenshot of stats from Moz’s Domain Overview tool

These are numbers most websites may solely envy, with almost 12M rating key phrases on Google.com alone. Over time, X.com may get better many or many of the non-branded rankings, however what concerning the fairness in searches for the Twitter model?

Model search: It’s difficult

In response to our knowledge, there are 8.4 Million searches a month in america only for the phrase “twitter” (and that’s most likely a conservative estimate), however model search goes far deeper than that. Take into account the Google consequence for simply the letters “tw”:

Image showing Google result for just the letters “tw”

Not solely does Twitter rank #1 for simply “tw”, however Google is sending robust model indicators, together with expanded sitelinks and a Data Graph entry. Whereas many attainable websites and searches start with “tw”, Google has decided that Twitter.com is — in their very own lingo — the dominant interpretation. That is spectacular even by large-brand requirements.

One thing distinctive to social networks is that individuals additionally pair different search phrases with the community’s identify. So, we see many searches for outstanding figures and types, akin to:

We additionally see brand-like indicators for matters paired with the phrase “Twitter”, outstanding Twitter personalities (even with out the model identify), inquiries like “Twitter search” and “Twitter login”, and official spinoffs, like “Tweetdeck.” Even fashionable memes can return brand-like indicators.

As well as, Twitter qualifies for a singular, carousel-style format just like the one under:

Image showing Twitter's unique carousel-style format

This type of prime actual property on Google outcomes could carry over to the X model, however that’s totally at Google’s discretion and will rely upon the power of the brand new model.

Quantifying Twitter’s model energy

Throughout the roughly 12 Million search queries Twitter ranked for in Moz’s knowledge, we examined simply those that obtained 150+ searches per thirty days and the place Twitter ranked on web page one, which left us with about 600,000 distinctive queries.

We analyzed these 600K queries for model indicators and ended up with 10,149 search queries. Whereas this will not appear to be loads in comparison with 12 Million, it represents an enormous affect of the Twitter model. All advised, these 10K queries drive over 18 Million searches per thirty days.

The issue for ‘X’ is that the overwhelming majority of those brand-like searches reference Twitter or related model phrases (like “tweet” and “Tweetdeck”) instantly. To recapture this search quantity and site visitors long-term, ‘X’ should attain a degree of name consciousness the place searchers are actively searching for phrases like “Taylor Swift X” and “Fortnite X’.

The complicated historical past of X.com

X.com presently ranks for no key phrases in our databases, as a consequence of quite a few long-term points. It doesn’t take a number of math to inform you that this drives zero model searches. This example will undoubtedly change, however X.com faces one other problem — it has been used to accommodate quite a few websites (with a number of house owners) and in addition has redirected to Musk’s wider model portfolio. To know X.com’s greater than 25-year historical past, you really want to see it.

The early years (1995–2000)

Utilizing the Web Archive’s Wayback Machine, we will seize a little bit of this complicated historical past. The X.com area was initially owned by Dave Weinstein, who launched the location in 1995 or 1996, in fairly typical mid-Nineties trend:

Image showing the original domain of X.com

Sadly, the listing of stuff that Rob Walker would possibly need is misplaced to the sands of time.

In 1999, Elon Musk purchased the area for the primary time (he would later re-buy it from eBay). Right here’s a screenshot from early 2000 of the unique X.com on-line banking website:

Screenshot of April 1999 of the original X.com online banking site

Till the latest rebranding of Twitter to ‘X’, this 2000-era website was the one one to ever home the X.com model as initially envisioned.

The PayPal years (2000–2011)

Because of a rocky interval at PayPal after the merger of X.com and Confinity, the X.com model gave approach to numerous PayPal manufacturers. Within the spring of 2000, the location was briefly rebranded as “X-Finance” after which “X-PayPal” (proven under):

screenshot of X-Paypal interface from the year 2000

By the autumn of 2000, Musk was ousted as CEO at PayPal, and this website was rebranded as simply “PayPal” in early 2001. This continued for some time, with X.com ultimately redirecting to the PayPal website. The ‘X’ model was nowhere to be seen at this level.

In late 2007, X.com was resurrected as PayPal Labs (captured right here in 2008):

Screenshot of PayPal Labs

PayPal Labs continued for some time, adopted by a handful of PayPal experiments, together with this “X.com weblog” that seems to don’t have anything to do with the ‘X’ model (display shot from July 2009):

Screenshot of X.com blog posts from June and July of 2009

These look like the one two posts the X.com weblog ever had, till it was changed in spring of 2010 with the PayPal-X Developer Community (to not be confused with X-PayPal):

Screenshot of PayPal-X Developer Network

In summer season of 2011, this website was changed by a brand new three way partnership of eBay (which had acquired PayPal in 2002), PayPal, and Magento known as “X-commerce”.

X.com[merce] (2011–2014)

X.commerce, a play on the X.com area, housed “a brand new enterprise in commerce” that sought to combine the eBay, PayPal, and Magento developer communities:

Screenshot of X.commerce

X.commerce went via quite a few iterations, surviving till February of 2014. At that time, eBay appears to have given up on the X.commerce enterprise and redirected X.com on to eBay’s company website (ebayinc.com).

The Boring hat (2017–2023)

In July of 2017, Elon Musk repurchased X.com and changed the home-page with simply the letter ‘x’. Quickly after, X.com redirected to The Boring Firm, however to not the home-page — to a web page to purchase a hat:

Image showing the page for The Boring Company

Roughly a 12 months later, this was changed by an beneath development web page harking back to the late Nineties, whereas residing unironically in 2018:

Screenshot of the page stating it was 'under construction'

This web page quickly returned to the letter ‘x’ on a white background. Word that the essential ‘x’ web page contained no HTML supply code in any respect nor any clues concerning the nature of the ‘X’ model or web site. It was actually only one character. This continued till July of 2023, when X.com was 302-redirected to Twitter.com, which is its present standing as of this writing.

The lengthy, unsure street forward

The unusual historical past of X.com — no matter my private emotions — is an search engine optimisation and branding nightmare. X.com has been used and abused by numerous house owners and has spent years simply being the letter ‘x’ on a white web page, with completely no clues as to the model’s goal.

Throughout this time, X.com has constructed roughly zero on-line model fairness and ranks for nothing. Briefly redirecting to Twitter.com is a short-term resolution, and presumably Twitter.com itself will completely redirect to X.com sooner or later. I’ve no information of Musk’s plans — that is the one cheap method for X.com to grow to be the everlasting house of the ‘X’ model.

At that time, X.com dangers dropping a considerable portion of the ten,149 Twitter-branded search queries and 18 Million searches per thirty days beforehand mentioned. Reclaiming these searches and the ensuing site visitors isn’t just an search engine optimisation job, however would require constructing the ‘X’ model within the minds of customers to the purpose that they routinely seek for celebrities, manufacturers, and matters mixed with ‘X’ or X-related phrases.

The long-term success of X.com is anybody’s guess, however because the ‘X’ model is moved to X.com, I predict — primarily based on my experiences with even reasonably tough related transitions — a considerable lack of search site visitors for at the least 3-6 months. Given the ability of the present Twitter model and the lengthy, unusual historical past of X.com, losses may simply final over a 12 months.



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