Thursday, May 14, 2009

Twitter Bomb, How It Works

I've seen a few blog posts on the new phenonomon of twitter bombing (here and here). We're all familiar with the google bomb. The twitter bomb, given that twitter is now something of limited universe search engine, apparently is an adaptation of this older tactic. I don't claim to be an expert at this so feel free to jump in and correct anything you read here in the comments section.

Here it is in a nutshell. This is where you search twitter posts, aka "tweets". If I flood twitter from multiple user accounts with the same tweet, such as "Harvard sucks", anyone searching twitter for the words "Harvard" or "sucks" is likely to come across my message. I could further attach a link to my message, such as "Harvard sucks". This might get additional traffic to It's a form of online guerrilla marketing. The problem with this is that other tweets are continually pouring into the twittersphere and those containing the words Harvard and sucks will degrade my results. The new tweets from outside sources (lacking my link) will push mine out of the search results. It's like trying to swim upstream against a swift current. You can only pull it off for a short burst, if that.

Here is the twist making the tactic more powerful. What if I and my confederates in the twitter bomb use the the one word preceded by a hash mark--"#sucks"? We are presumably the only people out there with tweets using "#sucks" so we own that result but nobody is searching that term. How does this help us? The answer: Trending Topics. Within each twitter user's home page is a section on the right tool bar by this name (see graphic). See the terms with the hash mark in front? Those are twitter bombs. The people behind those bombs have flooded enough tweets using their term into twitter to cause it to show up on the "Trending Topics" section published on every twitter user's home page. If a curious user clicks on the link, they see the full message that can include the link you are promoting.

Someone marketing the candy Skittles recently did a twitter bomb to help with a free promotion for a laptop giveaway. The whole point of the google bomb was to get readers to this product promotion page. I have no idea whether this is a legit promotion or a scam but, hopefully, you get the point.


Anonymous said...

Good morning :-) You seem to have a good grasp of internet marketing-ad revenue concepts

I had set up a site last year - now defunct, with the three-in-a box google ads type, but the second day I took that out, because every click would take the viewer away from my site.

I didn't figure out the google 'display' ad thing at all.

I am getting ready to start a new site. I wonder, if choosing (because of page space) between the google display ad type, or the three links in a box type, which makes the most sense to you?

Also, when I do have traffic, how does one go about soliciting other display ads?

I hope you don't mind offering a few hints. This project I am in really is just another attempt to do some good in the world, I am just hoping not not go broke doing it again. :-)

jjray said...

The type of ad is not overly important IMHO. The amount of traffic and the type of content on your website are bigger factors in the bottom revenue a web site generates. Why the type of content? Because google pays different rates based on the key words activated by your page. For instance, generates its best revenue in the plastic surgery section of the website. Here is one of the high traffic plastic surgery pages. Notice I have coupled text ad banner with a image ad. That seems to work best for me but I think all web sites shall different experiences with text versus image based on the type of content.

In your google adsense reports, the critical factor is "Page eCPM" or earnings per 1000 ad impressions. typically has an eCPM of around $12-$15, which is quite high. One way to check how different types of ads perform on your site is to create separate "channels" within your adsense account and group ad types within a separate channel for each type you wish to measure. Then after a few months you can get measurable data to compare the performance of google ad types.

Anonymous said...

I see... but the display ads pay per image 'impression' meaning every time the your page is viewed with the ad on it ... whereas the three-in-a-box links only pay you if someone clicks on one, and they are taken to a different site? is that correct ?

jjray said...

"but the display ads pay per image 'impression' meaning every time the your page is viewed with the ad on it ... whereas the three-in-a-box links only pay you if someone clicks on one"

"Three in a box" = text ad

A text ad can be either PPC (pay per click) or PPP (pay per impression). Google adsense (to my knowledge, at least with small businesses) only does PPC.

I think you miss the whole point on PPC v. PPP. If I'm reading your posts correctly, you are worried about visitors leaving your web site when they click on an ad. Your thought seems to be that you can somehow have your cake (ad revenue) and eat it too (not have visitors leave your web site). That never happens. If you contract with a company to run a PPP ad on your website that is NEVER clicked on or ads clicked at a very, very low rate, then you will be flagged as an underperforming web publisher and no one will advertise with you. Whether PPC or PPP, visitors have to click on the ads otherwise you'll never get paid over time. The entire issue comes down to how much revenue can be generated for your busines per 1000 impressions regardless of the payment model.

Anonymous said...

yes sir, :-) I did have that screwed up. I come from the old magazine publishing paradigm , where if the ad image is on the page the publisher gets paid. Image advertising ... like a billboard. You are saying they get the image on the page, but nothing significant comes of it unless people click on it.

Given that the site will be public service oriented, socially responsible living stuff, I have no idea what kinds of ads will land there, but I guess there is only one way to find out. I learned something today. Thank you again, sincerely.

John Chilton said...

"I took that out, because every click would take the viewer away from my site."

The advertisers are paying you for the traffic you direct to their site. This is why your being compensated for it.

If your content is interesting and relevant enough, they will come back.

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