Twitter’s new rate limits severely affect the indexing and display of tweets on Google’s search engine, limiting the reach of the information shared on the microblogging site.
According to web search industry outlet Search Engine Land, Google Search has dropped more than half of the indexed URLs from Twitter over the past few days.
On July 3, it noted the number of tweets indexed by Google dropped by more than 60% from 471 million to 180 million.
On July 4, The Verge shared a statement from a Google spokesperson who said, “We’re aware that our ability to crawl Twitter.com has been limited, affecting our ability to display tweets and pages from the site in search results.”
Search engine optimization consultant Glen Gabe posted a decline in search visibility from Twitter accounts. “This is based on Google not being able to crawl those URLs (due to Twitter redirecting non-logged-in users),” he explained.
As @rustybrick reported this AM, tweets are dropping out of the SERPs based on the latest changes on the platform. Search visibility is dropping, and spot-checking those rankings reveals those tweets or Twitter accounts are not ranking anymore: https://t.co/18qCONZ4XV pic.twitter.com/ggH6QVTRUw
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) July 3, 2023
Technologist Barry Schwartz also conducted a few tests, noting a similar drop-off in indexed tweets.
Google dropped over 50% of the indexed URLs it has from Twitter since Friday, after Twitter blocked signed-out users from seeing tweets (I know, this is a site command and not that accurate…) https://t.co/gVY8m41wcg pic.twitter.com/AoyfbBI0YU
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) July 3, 2023
When tested by Cointelegraph, Google returned about 665 million results when searching “site:twitter.com” so the figure is seemingly dynamic and dependent on Google’s crawlers.
On July 2, Twitter executive chairman Elon Musk announced the company would controversially impose temporary limits on the number of posts users will be allowed to read daily, citing “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation.”
The move has been largely criticized by the crypto community, which relies heavily on Twitter to communicate and share information. Lower tweet visibility on Google would also reduce the amount of crypto-related content originating from Twitter.
Decentralized Twitter rival Mastodon has recently seen a surge in activity, increasing active users since read restrictions were imposed on Twitter.
A Twitter rival from the Meta-owned Instagram called Threads is also set for launch this week.