Monday, October 15, 2012

Twitter Launched a User Profile Directory

Twitter has a new user profile directory!

For the past few days, several SEO experts have noticed a link in the footer of Twitter’s home page if you’re signed out, named as “Directory.”

This is said to be a link to Twitter’s unannounced new user profile directory which is hoped to bring more search engine traffic.

Twitter’s new user profile directory is a collection of all Twitter account holders sorted alphabetically from A to Z by what’s indicated in the “Name” field of Twitter profiles, not in the “Username” field that also includes profiles with non-Latin character names, which will enable you to browse through Twitter users in alphabetical order.

According to some social media experts, though the user profile directory page says you can “browse public Twitter profiles,” but it also includes profiles that are protected, too. However, clicking through from the directory to a protected account does not show the person’s tweets; they’re still remained private.

This user profile directory has quietly been rolled out by Twitter to make its profiles more discoverable by Google, Bing and other search engines. However, when asked why Twitter launched the user directory, it was stated by a company spokesperson that it’s “to help people find the accounts they’re looking for with various search engines.”

According to Matt McGee in his recent article for Marketing Land, “Twitter launched the user directory a few weeks ago, but hasn’t made a formal announcement about it. That’s likely because it exists more for search engines than for Twitter users.”

This seems to be true as many professional SEOs and webmasters have observed that from an SEO perspective, Twitter’s user directory seems to follow best SEO practices by showing no more than 100 profile links per page.

Amit Agarwal at via Matt McGee explained that though human visitors don’t find people directories, likes the ones now available on Twitter and Facebook, as being useful (unless when trying to research particular names or surnames), these “are like sitemaps that help search engines bots discover every single profile that exists on the social network.”

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