SEO and tsu

tsu have you heard of the latest buzzword in social media?

Really? Perhaps I need to spell it out more clearly then. tsu (pronounced like Sue) is the latest social network to get attention from the masses of social media enthusiasts, experts and marketers.

This blog post isn’t going to tell you about the social network, because you can find that out for yourself. I will say though, that if you do want to join, then you need to use a referral link as it is invite only. I would of course be eternally grateful if you used mine, which is http://www.tsu.co/AlanStainer

Now, onto the point of this post.

Can search engines crawl public tsu posts?

To view a post on tsu you need to have an account and be logged in. If you are not logged in with a valid account, you’ll see something like this.

Viewing a tsu post while logged out

You’ll notice in the example above, that the post URL also acts as a referral link. Handy eh? Oh and to get the URL of the post while logged in to tsu, just click on the More link at the bottom of the post and then on Open. The post will open in its own browser tab, allowing you to grab the URL from the browser address bar.

Anyway, back to search engines. Although you and I see the box blocking out the content, the content itself is all still there and indexable by the search engines. So the answer to the question is… Yes, the search engines can crawl tsu posts.

Titles are important

tsu posts can have titles. There is a field for it when you create a post. However, inspecting the code behind the title reveals that the text does not use regular title tags or bold text. Here is one I grabbed from a post of mine.

<div class="title">Which will work in the long rung?</div>

You can see the code above uses a class to handle the styling. So while it doesn’t explicitly use <b></b>, <strong></strong> or one of the H tags, search engines may still derive some significance from the styling of the element. General advice for optimising titles should be applied here.

tsu posts with links pass equity

Again, inspecting the HTML of a tsu post reveals that links do not have rel=”nofollow”.

tsu post html

Click the image to expand

So it is entirely feasible that a post that ranks well in search can have a positive influence on the ranking of pages that it links to.

Spammers beware

Spammers and black hat SEOs will love all of this of course. However, the powers behind tsu have been making great strides in combating spammy behaviour this week and the genuine user population is becoming very active in reporting and blocking any spammers they find. In short, if you are a spammer, you won’t last very long on tsu.

Masked content

Something I should mention which may be relevant. Google considers masking content, or hiding it behind something else, as bad. In essence you see something different to the search engines. Now whether this applies in tsu’s case with the prompt to create an account hiding the content behind, is a question that may never been answered. In tsu’s defence (and in fact any website that requires a log in) the intent is not to fool either the search engines or the people viewing the site.

What tsu could (and I believe should) do, is open up the content to the public. Sure, make it so that you need an account in order to comment, but make public posts genuinely public. There would be no question about the effects on search rankings then.

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