Should your tweet button, tweet the current page or your homepage

May 23, 2011

twitterI have been thinking about this for a while and I am just not sure what the best option is. Not to mention what the user expects or how twitter originally planned it. Twitter themselves provide a way of creating a “Tweet” button, that also keeps track of how many tweets you have had – you can take a look at it here: [Tweet button][1].

I think the original intention was to allow people to quickly tweet about the page they are reading, which is great for them and hopefully their followers. But from a content providers point of view this isn’t so great unless you are receiving really significant traffic and tweets. A second option is to put the tweet button on every page or article of your website but actually tweet a link to your homepage – this can be dine really easily in the tweet button generator. The benefit to the site owner is that your homepage gets more tweets – which is probably the page that you are hoping to get ranking in the search engines.

Do search engines look at tweets?

My answer is probably – but who knows for sure. At the very least I would expect google to see the links cropping up in the public twitter timeline, but they may even be more clever than that and look specifically at RT (retweets) and the counts of how many people have tweeted something using the button.

What do users expect

I think the person reading the page pretty much always wants to tweet the specific content they are looking at. I suppose occasionally you want to tell people about a blog or a website as a whole, but mostly you are clicking that tweet button to send out specific content of interest. This should be a simple decisive factor then – except it is horrible having all of those tweet buttons, with no tweets – with the nagging doubt that google might be seeing them as well.

Enter Facebook and Like

We now have exactly the same issue with Facebook buttons, although I think the Facebook like is much more often used to promote the site as a whole – rather than pointing to specific content. So maybe the answer is to like the homepage, but tweet the content.

Basically it is confusing – which is never good for anyone.