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  • Twitter Friday: Twitter Search is Broken

    Twitter search has been hailed as the next big thing, short of becoming the next Google. At the same time it seems that Twitter search and Twitter people search are both broken.
    Try searching for yourself, that is for your username.
    I asked my followers to check the results for their usernames and they were mixed, some could find everything, others found only some tweets. Check the screen shot below:

    Thanks @CanarsieBK, @martinbowling and @neurodexter for the feedback.

    How did I find out about that Twitter search issue?

    A virtual friend of mine alerted me to the fact that he’s not included anymore in the Twitter search results.

    • He can’t find his own tweets
    • Others aren’t listed in the search for people either, he was but later he disappeared there as well

    Now you might argue that all SEO is evil as the prejudice goes and that he got banned for spamming people in one or the other way. The only problem is, he isn’t into SEO. He’s known to be one of the friendliest and most helpful social media users around. I’ve been following him on several social media sites already.

    The only issue I could imagine to play a role is that he’s from Israel. He linked a Hebrew website in his profile. So the only idea why he got filtered was that perhaps Twitter is combating foreign language spam banning everything it can’t understand. The user in question doesn’t believe so though, he has feedback from people using different languages who can’t find their tweets either.

    OK, so I checked myself whether I can find myself and guess what: It’s not as easy as I thought. I’m not vanity searching all the time so I had to test a few cases just to realize that I can’t find myself in all instances I’d expect to be able to. OK, I might be an exception as well as I include the evil acronym SEO in my profile.

    Also my username contains an underscore, it’s based on my URL: @onreact_com My real name is Tadeusz Szewczyk which most people can’t pronounce so I chose the URL instead. Some sites frown upon this choice or can’t deal with it for technical reasons. Twitter seems to be one of them. The “find people” search can’t locate me at all due seemingly to the “_com” part of my username.

    It seems that some users can find both their profiles and tweets while others can not or only partly.

    • Did you get caught up in the Twitter search filters as well?
    • What do you see?
    • What’s missing?

    Tell us so we can find out more about this serious issue! It seems Twitter search is really broken and unreliable as of now. Twitter itself acknowledges the issue in part which sadly is no real consolation.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    5 Responses to “Twitter Friday: Twitter Search is Broken”

    1. @neurodexter says:

      I first encountered this right as @onreact_com tweeted out, so that was interesting. I could not find a discounted #kindle tweet posted hours before. Whereas I am an SEO, I thought twitter would not have filtered me based on my bio, but I was being considered Spam instead. I initially thought somehow Twitter was not allowing for a Hashtag and a Link to a product in the public timeline. Then, I started searching other past tweets I had found in the timeline a day or two earlier (namely, pictalicious.com a new color matcher by MailChimp). And Nothing. Then, I turned to mentions and found only the most recent eight or so that would fit on one page. http://twitter.com/#search?q=@neurodexter – so does this have something to do with a new spam filter to help Twitter combat bots…Looks like it maybe. Your link out to the twitter page with an explanation mentions alot about new accounts being missed in the timeline intentionally. (Stop hack of starting accounts and tweeting once or only following for the autofollow) But this measure has apparently infected our timeline, and the search function is kaput. I hope we can gain back the freshness of all data making it into the timeline even if they have to block scrapers, spammers, porn, and follow bots.

      Of course all systems have their bugs, firewall issues, and hacker-prone systems but I hope this will be resolved twitter apocalypse, avoided.

    2. 7ac068 says:

      Happy Fathers Day to me :) and all the other Dads out there in Twitter Land :)

    3. Tad Chef says:

      Thanks @neurodexter for the exact description of the issues you encounter.

      It seems most people don’t care. I’m genuinely surprised. The all the rage social networking site Twitter can’t find you and you don’t give a damn? You must be doing something wrong.

      I’ve been testing again and Twitter can’t even find me when I enter SEO 2.0 into people search although this is almost the only text I have on my profile. They find a guy who has just 68 followers instead. FAIL!

    4. Vote for the Top 100 Online Marketers of 2009 | SEO Profit Center says:

      [...] Twitter Friday: Twitter Search is Broken [...]

    5. Of course all systems have their bugs, firewall issues, and hacker-prone systems but I hope this will be resolved twitter apocalypse, avoided.

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