Twitter can be gamed too? Who would have thought? If there is a way to get promotion from a popular social site, you know that it will be taken advantage of. It just becomes a matter of competition at some point, perhaps even with people being paid to help with that promotion (right Diggers?).
Why would we think that Twitter is above this? Well, their announcement a month ago about cracking down on spam would be one indication, but honestly, who really thought that this type of behavior would be eliminated?
The CareerBuilder Model
Svetlana Gladkova at Profy has uncovered what appears to be CareerBuilder “gaming” its way into Twitter’s “Trending Topics” and search results (actually our own Susan Coppersmith noticed it a while back as well and twittered about it [you can follow her here.]). Gladkova noticed that a lot of searches using Twitter Search (formerly Summize) would turn up results with CareerBuilder in the top ten. Her curiosity was piqued when no recent big CareerBuilder news was evident. Why would the brand come up so frequently? Gladkova writes:
The answer proved to be very simple – CareerBuilder generated all the activity required to make the name of the site the most discussed topic on Twitter on its own. The thing is that the guys behind the website simply configured a few Twitter accounts (each account focused on a particular city) to broadcast all the latest job positions advertised on CareerBuilder automatically to Twitter. This resulted in a few dozens of new tweets posted to a few timelines belonging to different CareerBuilder geographical sections every hour (as I believe they must have some moderation for new jobs where they approve new postings to the site in bulk).
“I also suspect that these tweets are posted using some sort of a script as they show ‘from web’ as the posting method while normally when we see such automatic tweets published via RSS we see ‘from Twitterfeed’ there.”