A short WebmasterWorld thread has one person claiming that his brand new site was indexed solely based on a link from a tweet, via Twitter. He admits he cannot say with 100% certainty that Twitter was the only link to the new site, but he is pretty sure.
I see no reason why Twitter could not be a great place for Google to discover and index new content. We know Google has a deal with Twitter to get their content fast and store it forever. So why not use it for finding new content?
The webmaster said:
I setup and installed a new blog yesterday and I thought rather than link it to any of my sites it would be worth Tweeting out the new URL to see how quickly it was picked up. Today its already in the index and its showing about 16 hours of age. Now I can't say it was 100% Twitter but given the amount of bot activity tweets seem to generate its a pretty fair bet my good old twitter account has at least one use...
Tedster, WebmasterWorld's administrator said he isn't surprised. He said:
I can't say I'm surprised since Google has a powerful passion - even obnsession - for URL discovery.
I just heard today about a similar test that went even further. The site involved got a page indexed and RANKING with only Twitter links. I doubt that could be sustained for any period of time, but apparently it can work short term.
I agree, since Tweets are often more 'real-time' in nature, the tweets likely cannot provide long term, sustained ranking or indexing power that an old aged link on a hub or authority web site in your niche.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.