It “grades” your twitter profile on a scale of 100 based on:
At least that’s what they tell you Of course, I wanted to know how it really worked. Here’s what I’ve found so far.
Here is a graph of me and some of my reciprocal followers sorted by number of updates:
These numbers are as of this morning, 10–20 between 9:00 — 9:15 AM PST. As you can see, the first 7 on the list are all extremely active users, with significant followings. Their scores vary from 94 — 98.9. I decided not to include anyone with a 100 score in my study, because those users tend to have such large follower numbers, that the results I feel, would be skewed. The last 3 on the list are users, including myself, with scores in the middle range, varying from 57 — 63. Follower counts for these users are all under 100.
Now, there is obviously a correlation between number of followers and twitter score. I would liken this to number of quality inbound links to a website, and page rank. But there are some things to take note of.
I first thought that it would correlate that the ratio of followers to people you follow should significantly affect your score. But, as you can see with NeOBlog, this is not the case. He is following more than 2 times the amount of people that are following him, yet his score remains at the top with a 97.5, and continues to climb. Whereas chriswinfield, on the other hand, has over 6 times as many followers than he is following, and only maintains a mere 1.4 score lead. We see a similar case with the epic duel of martinbowling vs. oilman. Martinbowling only maintains a 1.6÷1 ratio of followers/following whilst oilman has a stunning 4/1 ratio yet only leads by a .6 points on twitter grader. So I had to abandon this logic.
I next decided to look into quality of the network of followers. For this I more closely examined the last 3 on the list, because the first 7 have many overlaps in networks. Robertpalmer, kennyhyder, and austincurtis all have similar follower numbers with few overlaps. This was an interesting study, and one that is hard to not be biased on! I’m an SEO and followed by mainly the SEO and internet marketing community. Austincurtis is a professional photographer and designer, and mainly followed by other professional photographers. And robertpalmer is an author at www.tuaw.com and a graphic designer, and mostly followed by other bloggers and designers. Because both Austin and Robert were personal friends of mine before I knew them professionally, and I can’t just say “my following is better” I decided to look at the numbers. Without going too deep, I decided to look at the number of followers for each user, who have a follower count above 1000. The score? robertpalmer: 14, austincurtis: 5, kennyhyder: 14. With the robertpalmer and my count tied, and austincurtis at a significantly lower count, yet all 3 users still so close, I decided to play around a bit. So I went and blocked all of the spammy users who were following me at the moment. (no picture, following 1000 but only 5 followers, etc..) The result? MY SCORE DROPPED! I laughed, obviously twitter grader doesn’t consider the quality of the accounts following you.
After this, I decided to follow @grader, based on the “…a few other things” line, and the fact that every time I checked my score, at the bottom it said “kennyhyder is not following @grader yet”. I thought this may do 2 things. 1. Possibly boost my score a point & 2. I thought it would help with the frequency of crawl rate on my profile.. It did neither.
I was starting to think that the algorithm was simply nothing except how many followers you have. The last thing I had to try was the “pace of your updates”. So I started tweeting like mad. I started tweeting @ people, tweeting when I posted on my blog, tweeting when I was playing poker, tweeting everything.. And soon, the big lead that I once had on austincurtis turned into a small lead. And soon, into his lead. I dominated him on tweets, and even lead on followers, and was following less people, but his score popped up. And then I saw something new, “What about your follower to update ratio?”
So to test this, (and get back my lead on austincurtis) I started following new friends. My following count surpassed my follower count, yes, but we already determined that this doesn’t matter. I followed more and more tweeps, and picked up followers along the way. I did this on fridays because I don’t tend to spend much time on twitter over the weekends, so my follower count would grow, and my update count would stay the same. This worked. In further testing, I would tweet a lot without adding friends, and my score would dip. Aha! This is the supplement to main piece of the algorithm. This is the “content is king” piece!
So obviously, the more followers you have, the better your score will be, but it is nice to see (at least for an seo) that this isn’t the only thing taken into consideration!
People mentioned in this post: