The Twitter Example: Twitter Feeds Are Broken All Over the Web

Most of us have twitter feeds on our website, often prominently so … on the home page or on ever page. This turns out to be a best practice. To put feeds on your site that “tell” Google that your site is being constantly updated. Since the Panda update and well before, Google has looked to read this type of digital body language so it “knows” that your site is being updated regular by a real person. The objective here is to try to eliminate have a dead link farm turn up on the top of the heap when it comes to search. But I digress.

Twitter recently changed its algorithm. I’m technical enough to grok this change which has to do with OAuth. I simply don’t care and don’t want to be bothered. What this means to you as a professional marketer is that the feeds on your website from Twitter may look something like this unless or until you intervene. The big red arrow marks the spot where there should be a listing of tweets. Note the absence of said listing.

broken feed

If you operate in a WordPress environment, here is an excellent blog post about how to fix this problem: A New WordPress Plugin Featuring Twitter

If I was still running my agency, I would have to go back and fix the 20-30 sites that signed maintenance contracts with me. And something so fundamental – like a broken Twitter feed – is arguably something I might have to fix for every website I’ve built recently, whether the customer is willing to pay me to do so or not.

This seems to me to be a major gotcha. Business-to-business marketers have better things to do than chase the technology bunny rabbit … which is much like the Energizer bunny … always on the move.

Customers tell us that they don’t want to feel like they are Alice-in-Wonderland, constantly having to chase down arcane technologies, figure out what has changed, and then what to do about it on their websites, campaign/microsites, landing pages, as well as in email marketing. They don’t want to – for example – have to figure out how to implement a fix to the recent change in Twitter API as described in this blog post, that is oriented towards designers. Instead they want their designers to focus on … well … design, not coding.

With Bislr, chasing the technology rabbit is part and parcel of what we do for our customers. And just for grins, check out the twitter feed elsewhere on our blog and confirm for yourself that it is not broken.

Previously published on the Bislr (now Autopilot) blog