Notice anything different about Twitter? This month, in an effort to enhance search functionality, the social networking and micro-blogging platform improved its search features, allowing you to discover people, topics, mentions and hashtags more easily. If you haven't visited the site recently, here are a few changes to look out for:
Search Term Autocomplete: Type in any search term and watch as Twitter offers autocompletes of related terms, keywords and topics. For instance, a search for "news" offers a dropdown list of the terms "newsroom" and "newsnight."
Related Suggestions: If you're searching a topic or event, it's likely there are multiple keywords and phrases used in the online dialogue around this topic. The platform now offers relevant suggestions using cues from real-time dialogue on Twitter. Before the latest update went into effect, searching for a term could produce hundreds of results. Now, Twitter bases search returns around users you may have interacted with in the past or topics you may have searched. That same search for "news" also displays several Twitter handles including CNN, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and PR News.
Spelling Corrections: Previously, a misspelled search term would send you to a blank page. The spell-check update brings the misspelled word to your attention and suggests words you may have meant, improving search results. And there's good news for iPhone and Android users - recently Twitter released a mobile update that includes the spelling correction, autocomplete, and search suggestion developments.
Real Names and Usernames in Results: Searching for a person on Twitter? With the new search features, you'll not only find that person but all tweets that mention them in any way - username and real name. Twitter also attempts to pull related users and displays the results at the top of the search. What do these changes mean for your business? Twitter's related suggestions feature presents a search engine optimization opportunity for businesses to optimize outgoing Tweets through keyword targeting. Strategically placing keywords in your company's Tweets can increase the chance that your product or service will be discovered when people are searching those keywords. Now that's something to Tweet about!
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