How To Search Twitter, Revisited

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Now that Google has removed real-time search as an option, where should you go to find treasures on the twittersphere? Well, you could always try searching on twitter.com/search which I think most people will probably fall back to. By digging into advanced search options, you can indeed be quite effective searching using the twitter.com search engine. There are however, alternatives for people who wants more capabilities and features when it comes to searching through twitterspehere.

Topsy is one such search engine that has been in this game for a while and according to their website, differentiates by:

“Topsy’s algorithms dynamically identify influencers within the Social Web for any searchable criteria, using these influence calculations to rank results. This means realtime search results are highly relevant & devoid of noisy stream of conscious content.”

Here are some of the reasons why you might want to try it out:

  • You can search through twitter archives. According to their website, their index goes back as far as three years, and according to them, is the largest on the web today. Search Engine Land has an interesting post on why this might be useful, such as finding Ashton Kutcher’s (or anyone else’s) first tweet?
  • The benefits of keeping a large archive of tweets is that they can try try to present results based on relevance and not just timeline.
  • Whilst the default twitter search engine also claims to give you relevant results (when you choose “Top” results”), Topsy is a bit more transparent and allows you to drill into why certain tweets comes out on top and who the key influencer is on a topic.

Finally, I think the most impressive feature, (one that no one, including twitter offers) is the ability to filter the results based by date. You can do this easily by going to their advanced search page.

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Could be really useful if you want to filter out a particular period of time when there are lot of noises about the topic you are researching about.

What about you, what do you use to search through twitter?