Google Search drops tweet carousels after Twitter hack

Google has removed the prominent Twitter carousel of tweets from the Google search result pages after many prominent Twitter accounts were hacked yesterday. If you missed the Twitter hack news, you can read about it on Techmeme. But this news resulted in Google removing Twitter carousel boxes completely from its search results pages.

The Twitter search carousel box is not just gone for those accounts that were hacked but gone for any Twitter account. Google has confirmed to have dropped the box completely from the search results.

Search Engine Land has asked Google if this move is temporary and if we will see the Twitter carousel return to the Google search results. A Google spokesperson told us “we can confirm we have temporarily removed the Twitter carousel from Search following Twitter’s security issues. Before restoring the feature we will carry out a careful review.”

Before and after screen shots. The Twitter carousel box usually comes up when searching for any prominent, or even not so prominent, brand name or personality name on Google search. Here are screen shots of before and after:

Data. FiveBlocks shared a chart with me showing that for all the queries the company tracks, 100% of those Twitter carousels have been removed:

SEMRush has data on this change:

RankRanger also has data on this change:

Google and Twitter. Google first added tweets to its search results about five years ago, in 2015. But Google had integration deals with Twitter prior to that in 2011 and earlier.

In fact, SEOs and marketers used these Twitter carousels as a method to dominate the search results. You can see many more examples of Twitter carousels in the Google search results there.

Will this last? Will Google permanently remove the Twitter carousel results from Google Search? I doubt it but we did email Google for clarification on this move. It does make sense for Google to remove it, at least temporarily, as we currently need to figure out if we can trust the posts we see on Twitter.

Google has updated us and told us “we can confirm we have temporarily removed the Twitter carousel from Search following Twitter’s security issues. Before restoring the feature we will carry out a careful review.”

Why we care. If you are currently using Twitter as a Google search strategy, that might have to go on hold until we determine what Google’s next steps are with Twitter.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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