Twitter Friday: Twitter Search is Broken |

Twitter Friday: Twitter Search is Broken

By Tad Chef / June 19, 2009

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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