Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quick News on Hashtags

Learned an important detail about how Google views hashtags used on Twitter today from Scott Bourne during his extended boot camp session. Scott will definitely be part of the follow Friday for several things learned here - this one being more immediate: consider NOT using the traditional hashtag if you want to push up on Google search and DEFINITELY do not use more than one. Why? According to Bourne, Google's more concerned with the over the top usage of hashtag by the spammer and porn industry than any legit users. Also, hashtags that use "nonsense" or made up acronyms again look spamish to the Googleplex.

Bourne based his advice on two things. The most important was discussion with Google execs; legit as he would rank as one of the top photographers by follower or reputation in the field - thus carrying enough say to get in the room and hear what's up. Second, as he illustrated today, you're not necessarily hurting yourself by using @ references rather than # references in Twitter search. Even if you are wed to a hashtag, Bourne strongly recommends not using multiple ones in the same tweet. That fires off marks against you toward blacklisting - again the spammers.

I know that I am guilty of the double tag, especially unintended double tagging: #10 LSU at #15 Arkansas for hoops tonight at Walton #WPS. That is a triple hashtag of doom. Remember, the Internet doesn't care that we all use the number sign for, well, the abbreviation number.

But those ranking refences all become hashtags to Twitter, and that got driven home during Rod Harlan's presentation on measurements for socia media. One of his tools - much more on that later - revealed that the hashtag cloud for ArkRazorbacks was just covered with rankings rather than hashtags.

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