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Search Advertising Pioneer Launches TweetUp.com Sponsored Twitter Widget

By on April 12, 2010

Bill Gross and team at Idealab have gone live with TweetUp.com, a service that aims to provide businesses and individuals wanting to grow their Twitter following a targeted marketing experience. Interested advertisers will be able to bid on keywords and have their profiles and tweets displayed prominently on popular websites.

Gross is the man behind GoTo.com, the late 90’s search engine that ignited the pay-per-click revolution of present day. GoTo was renamed Overture and later sold to Yahoo in 2003 for $1.6 billion.

The New York Times reports that TweetUp.com widgets (shown below) will be displayed on Answers.com, BusinessInsider.com and soon many other high profile websites.

Update: April 22nd – TweetUp’s wingspan just got a whole lot wider. TechCrunch and TweetDeck will be joining the network of publishers.

TweetDeck is the #1 Twitter client representing over 10% of all usage of Twitter and will soon feature an extra search column displaying targeted sponsored results and profiles.

The TweetUp Partner program allows website owners to earn a revenue share by displaying the widget. This is likely to take the blogosphere by storm.

The Times questions whether or not Twitter users will pay to have their Tweets displayed and if the widget will be accepted as real content.

I know the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes!

The widget (which is not yet live, so I’m making an educated guess here) will feature Twitter profiles and actual tweets targeted to keywords within website content, similar to sponsored search results. This is prime advertising real estate.

So, I think there are some more important questions we will have to find out.

How much are people going to bid for keywords?

I think during the initial launch of TweetUp the service will be getting a lot of buzz and keyword prices may be inflated. Especially since the first 1000 members will be receiving a $100 credit to spend. The credits may get used up quickly as I think TweetUp is working on a pay-per-impression model, exact details are not readily available.

Once the initial rush slows down, bids may normalize, but will still be competitive for generic terms. A little long-tail keywords knowledge may provide a unique opportunity to promote your profile cost-effectively.

How much traffic/followers is TweetUp going to deliver to my website/profile?

I think there is a chance the TweetUp widget will prove to deliver great results in terms of both new followers and website visitors. I use the terms almost interchangeably because new followers often click-through on Twitter profile URLs.

The content of your Tweet may also link directly to your website, so you would essentially be getting a direct referral from related content.

Unfortunately, there would be no SEO benefit, but the targeted traffic could be as good as Google AdWords with the added benefit of being more enticing to click.

TweetUp will be using click analytics provided by Bit.ly to track all of the results.

I’ve signed up for TweetUp to see how it goes and will hopefully be able to report some good news soon.

What are your thoughts? Will you be trying out TweetUp.com as an advertiser or displaying the widget as a partner? Would you interact with the widget if you came across it on your favorite site? Please leave a comment below.

Hat tip to Fusible for reporting the sale of TweetUp domain last month.


About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.