OK, it’s a trick question. But not really. If you’ve been wondering how Google ranks your tweets in real-time search then there is an interview with a Googler than shed some light on the subject. Amit Singhal says that ranking tweets in real-time search is a lot like PageRank. So I’m looking forward to the day when we’ll all be discussing our TweetRank scores with verve and passion.
It’s interesting that the comparison between ranking tweets and PageRank has been made because PageRank has been likened to a popularity contest, but that’s not accurate. It’s about quality more than anything and ranking tweets is the same. Google appears to be interested in the number of followers a person has and how connected socially – quality – those followers are.
Singhal says it this way:
“You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you, and then you follow someone–then even though this [new person] does not have lots of followers,” his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves followed widely, Singhal says. It is “definitely, definitely” more than a popularity contest, he adds.
So this is incentive then to get on the A-list and be followed by the top bloggers. Rather than simply going for huge numbers of followers, try to find the right followers for you, quality followers with lots of well-connected followers themselves.
I guess that’s a little like PageRank. What do you think?