What Retweet and PageRank have in common
The Google PageRank algorithm allows Google to efficiently order search engine results in order to provide the most relevant, accurate site for your search from a reliable source. A PageRank value is assigned to a webpage based on it’s relevance (through some form of content analysis) and it’s reliability. How does Google know the site is a reliable source? From what we know, it estimates this value through a wide variety of factors:
Factoring in all these elements and more, Google produces a PageRank value for each site. PageRank has become critical to Google’s business. It’s what differentiates Google from other search engines. It has become Google’s bread and butter on which they have built their business on top of.
So what’s this got to do with a retweet?
Here is the problem with Twitter: How do I know a tweet is accurate, reliable and is from who it says it’s from?
Twitter is still working through all those issues. For example, they have been trying to tackle fake accounts by introducing verified accounts. Spam continues on, and the security issues of Twitter aren’t helping either. So what’s the answer?
Crowd-source your problem
You see, Twitter can’t just use the total amount of followers as a way of identifying useful and reputable content on Twitter. Twitter’s retweet feature allows them to crowd-source their problem. In a sense, they are allowing everyone contribute in the quest of identifying quality and helpful information on Twitter. If you retweet something from someone you follow, you are acknowledging their validity. If one of your followers retweeted you, it would have the same effect. In ‘PageRank terms’ this could have the same effect as linking to your site.
A Twitter PageRank Algorithm?
If Twitter were to have an equivalent algorithm it could involve a mix of the following elements:
The consequences of Twitter’s efforts on the retweet feature and API are twofold:
- Users are able to find reputable, quality and useful Tweets
- Twitter begins to identify the influencers and trend-setters
The first point above ensures more and more users stay on Twitter’s microblogging platform – which is critical for Twitters success. Secondly, identifying influencers presents a huge monotization opportunity for Twitter… but that’s another blog-post!