If you have ever tried to search on Twitter you know that it is pretty frustrating. The search results don’t go back very far at all, only about a week. Twitter isn’t very concerned at the moment, however, with creating a search interface that helps you travel back in time – they have more pressing things to worry about. In October of 2009 Bing and Google both partnered with the social media site to begin indexing content from the Twitter firehose, however this leaves a lot of stuff out. Google’s results only goes as far back as February of 2010 and Bing just a few days. That’s where Topsy wants to step in.
Topsy is not only a tweet search engine, but they are now the largest searchable index of Twitter content. Anything you look for on it’s site will come back with results from Twitter matching your keywords. They have results going back as far as 2008 including tweets, photos and links; reporting having reached their five-billionth tweet and 2.5-billionth link as of yesterday.
Both Danny Sullivan (at Search Engine Land) and Chris Cameron (at Read Write Web) tried out Topsy with just a bit better than lackluster results, so I decide to take it for spin and unfortunately I’ll have to agree with these two blog posts. While the organization of tweets based on where the fall in a timeline leaves much to be desired, if you are strictly searching for other tweets that relate to your keyword search than you will be very happy. Topsy is defintely making good when it comes to providing relevant results to user searches and hopefully the next version the release will be better at sorting out timelines.