Twitter Search Engines

Twenty two days ago, I asked readers to tweet how they get permission to do stuff using the #getpermission hashtag in Twitter. Yesterday, I remembered that I needed to copy/paste some of those tweets into my How YOU Get Permission post … and failed miserably! Why? Because tweets pretty much disappear after about a week and a half. Technically the tweets are still there – they’re just not found by most search engines, Twitter’s included.

So I did some furious searching, and actually found a few of those hashtag tweets! Which search engines worked?

Here’s a list of Twitter search engines and what they found. Thankfully, there’s one #getpermission tweet out there right now, so theoretically, every search should at least find that recent tweet. Let’s see what happens!

Found the most recent tweet plus something else:

  • Topsy – found it, plus three others (including the ones I quoted in my last post). You have to click “all time” to get those. It’s obviously NOT all time, or it would have found everything else, too. Not sure what’s up with that. But hey – it’s something!
  • twazzup – found it, plus found my last post, a news article that mentioned “get permission”
  • crowdeye – found it plus one other, plus my blog post.

Found the most recent tweet only:

And finally, search engines that found nothing – not even the most recent tweet:

  • Tweetmeme
  • twitority
  • twitalyzer – this one didn’t search at all – they claimed that Twitter was acting up again, and said “come back later!”
  • yauba
  • tweefind
  • trendistic
  • twittertroll – Interestingly, they said “no results. We suck” when nothing was found. Well … yes, you do!
  • twitterment – This one doesn’t seem to search hashtags. It took my hashtag, separated the words, and ran a search for “get permission”
  • oneriot – this search stripped out the hashtag and found something completely unrelated.
  • twitmatic – dunno. still waiting for the search to complete its “first time indexing” …

So there you have it! Want to find an “ancient” tweet (as in, older than 10 days)? I’d suggest using Topsy or Crowdeye (probably both).

Fun Twitter bird by Marc Benton

  • Tim Baran

    Thanks for this post. Makes me feel less like an idiot for never seeming to find a useful Twitter search engine. Folks tout twitter’s advance search but it’s useless if searching for something more than a few days old. Why?!

  • davidleeking

    Why is right! I’d guess they’re focused completely on the real time search to the detriment of “old” stuff.

    But it makes absolutely no sense, since the tweets are still in their database!


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  • Ewhite

    Hi David. Eddie White here. We are being asked more and more to search Facebook, MySpace and Twitter at my work. You have any useful tutorials, or know of any, for searching these sites, especially with the ability to discriminate one Joe Smith from another more than just if their picture matches who they are? E-mail or call me if you can at Shook. Thanks and hope all is well with you. Eddie